Priyanka Kumar is the critically-acclaimed author of Conversations with Birds and Take Wing and Fly Here. Her essays and criticism appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Huffington Post, and High Country News. A lifelong naturalist, she is deeply passionate about birds and wild animals—and about restoring their ecosystems and stemming biodiversity loss. Her vivid stories about her fieldtrips in the wild and her reflections “inspire and enlighten” (Publishers Weekly) and are “a powerful defense of the planet we share with (animals).” (Kirkus Reviews)
She is a recipient of the Aldo & Estella Leopold Writing Residency, the Playa Residency, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, a New Mexico/New Visions Governor’s Award, a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, an Ontario Arts Council Literary Award, and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Fellowship.
She has lectured and written widely on environmental and social justice issues, and was featured on CBS New Radio and interviewed at length for shows such as The Last Word with Abigail Adler, In This Climate, and What Matters Most.
She holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and is an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Kumar wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, starring Martin Scorsese and Ravi Shankar—which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and is in the permanent collection of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Kumar has taught at the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Southern California, and serves on the Board of Directors at the Leopold Writing Program.