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Nick Neely grew up south of San Francisco, in the oak and chaparral on the bay side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. His first book of essays, Coast Range: A Collection from the Pacific Edge, was published by Counterpoint Press and named a finalist for the 2017 John Burroughs Medal for natural history writing and CLMP’s Firecracker Award for Creative Nonfiction. A chapbook of his lyrical animal essays, Chiton, and Other Creatures, is also available from New Michigan Press. He received an MA from the Literature and Environment program at the University of Nevada, Reno, in 2009, and afterward spent six months living in the woods of Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon as the recipient of PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency. Following stints at High Country News and Audubon magazine, he completed an MFA in nonfiction from Hunter College and an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, where he taught in the Undergraduate Writing Program. His work is published or forthcoming in magazines such as Orion, Mother Jones, Kenyon Review, The Threepenny Review, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Harvard Review, Fourth Genre, FIELD, Ninth Letter, Ecotone, and River Teeth. He has held residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon coast. He is also the recipient of the 2015 John Burroughs Nature Essay Award (for his essay “The Book of Agate”), an AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award (for his article on the Cassia crossbill), and a UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship. For his next book, Alta California (Counterpoint 2019), he completed a twelve-week walk from San Diego to San Francisco on the route of first overland Spanish expedition into California in 1769. He lives in Hailey, Idaho with his wife, the painter Sarah Bird.

Special note: Nick’s teaching a two-day workshop, “Writing the Wrack Line” (writing about the beach landscape and its natural history), at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis, Oregon, June 13-14, 2018. Registration information forthcoming.

Here he is, incognito, with a fish-bone mustache:

Fish Bone Mustache

Nick is represented by Sam Stoloff of the Frances Goldin Literary Agency.