Waterston Desert Writing Prize
Maya Kapoor – 2015 Finalist
Finalist Maya Kapoor proposal, “The Familiar and Wild,” was a nonfiction essay collection that is a mix of science writing and memoir. The collection focuses on often overlooked life forms from the Sonoran desert—the uncharismatic or under-appreciated species existing in marginal spaces where the human and natural complicate one another’s identities. Each organism’s story is a window into questions of what it means for something to be wild or urban (or wild and urban) in the Anthropocene.
Kapoor graduated in 2015 with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona. While enrolled at the UA, Maya became founding president of Many Voices, a student club dedicated to supporting the social and professional needs of creative writing students of color. Maya worked in field biology and environmental education for more than a decade and holds a master’s in biology from Arizona State University. Kapoor lives in Tucson where she works in science communications and in fostering intersections between the arts and environmental research. Maya’s writing is published or forthcoming in An Essay Daily Reader (Coffee House Press); The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide (University of Arizona Press); ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment; Edible Baja Arizona; and Terrain.org.