I am pleased to be considered in the book world as a nature/science writer. At the same time, I have relied on Joseph Campbell’s advice to follow my bliss. I write about what engages me, what I can learn from, what seems important. My topics include citizen science, living in place, archaeology, flowers, butterflies, hunger, and pantheism.
Although most of my books are creative nonfiction for adults, I also use fiction to tell certain stories. Mostly these involve magical realism, in both adult and children’s literature. My first science fiction, Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Yucca Publishing, January 2016), uses theories of panpsychism and a holographic universe to express my secret belief that magical realism is actually realism.
My awards include the John Burroughs Medal, a Rockefeller Fellowship, the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award, the Arizona Authors Book Award, Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, the New Mexico Presswomen’s Zia Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Writers at Work Fellowship, and the Henry Joseph Jackson Award. My work has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Swedish, Russian, German, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Polish, and Portuguese. (The thrill and befuddlement of seeing your words in Chinese ideograms.) I have thrice served as the PEN West judge for their annual award in best children’s literature.
My next book is Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worlwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It. This project builds on ideas from Hunger: An Unnatural History and returns to the world of food aid and childhood malnutrition. I do love to write. Writing is how I move through the world, how I live, how and when I become my best self. Really, there’s no turning back now.