I am a writer and reporter based in Southwest Virginia, where I roam 90 acres along the West Fork of the Little River. I grew up in Boyd’s Creek, Tennessee, home of my great-great-great-great grandmother. My work appears at Lapham’s Quarterly, the Oxford American, Orion, Virginia Quarterly Review, Parabola, Earth Island Journal, Paste, Still: The JournalFlycatcher, the On Being radio program blog, and, among other places.

I have written essays and reported on Hawaiian star navigation; the harvest of mescal agave; mycelium networks; mushroom foraging; urban watersheds; root-digging and medicinal plants; the timber, gas, and coal-mining industries, coal ash spills and coal ash dumps; the detriments of artificial night lighting; ancient fossils; extinction; public art; native freshwater mussels; cricket song; music and sound; and long train rides.

I am a recipient of the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the Russell Fellowship at Utah State University, the Thomas J. Lyons Fellowship from the Western Literature Association, and the Jackson Fellowship at Hollins University, where I received my MFA. In 2015, I was the Artist-in-Residence at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. My essay “Places that Have No Names” was listed as notable in Best American Travel Writing 2017. My essay “The Fading Stars: A Constellation” was selected for the next Best American Science & Nature Writing anthology.

In addition to writing, I am an educator and naturalist at a contemplative, progressive school. I earned a naturalist certificate at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute.


You can write to me, and sign up for my newsletter, at stalkingthewildspirit [at] gmail [dot] com.

Follow me on Instagram @stalkingthewildspirit

{photo taken at Kīlauea Iki crater, Kīlauea volcano, Big Island, Hawai’i}