I am a writer, former college English professor, nature enthusiast, wildlife tracker, photographer.


In January of 2011, I began a book project. Prior to that, I had spent over two decades as a college professor, teaching English, literature, writing, and English as a second language. I had also completed a doctorate in linguistics, a nine-year interlude during which I studied language processing and the bilingual brain. Never quite able to choose between my love of literature and language and my love of science, I thought I had found the perfect amalgam of those interests, focusing my doctoral research on the neurobiology of language and how age of exposure to a second language affects how learners process different kinds of linguistic information in real time.

My research turned out to be a costly but fascinating side trip that gave me the opportunity to explore and contribute to an exciting new field of study; but perhaps my most important discovery was that I was not as well-suited for a career in scientific research as I thought. So I returned to teaching and a life of helping others find their voices, their way into the English language as language learners, writers, and readers of literature. 

Then a catastrophic vocal injury altered the course of my career and my life.


During an unsteady and painful recovery, silence taught me a few important lessons about priorities and dream building. It forced me to let go of my long-held professional identity and to examine my unacknowledged dreams of living a creative life. Facing the very real possibility that I might never speak again, I found myself re-evaluating what it meant to be a teacher, eventually exchanging a moderately stable academic path for an entirely uncertain one in which I aspired to establish myself as a writer, seeking to find my voice there.

I spent the better part of the past decade writing the book that an artist friend asked me to write about her difficult journey to finding and living her art. I was further into that project than I like to admit before fully realizing that I was on my own parallel journey. Purveyors of Light and Shadow: Two Artists Search for Meaning, written under the pen name Kate Calder Klein, would end up reflecting our shared stories of losing and finding art while losing and finding ourselves. Its various threads follow the transformational events that shaped Lucy’s life and work and have taken shape narratively by way of my perspective of trauma and recovery, nature and landscape, art and language, and the human struggle with selfhood.

My journey beyond teaching, writing, and research has taken me into the wilderness as a wildlife tracker and photographer. My passion for exploring, studying, and writing about the natural world and our relationship to it has carried me through one chapter after another of challenging times and surely will see me through the ones we are all currently living through, as the health of our planet falters and we struggle to find the courage to take the drastic action necessary to save it while there is still time.     

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