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Michelle Dowd

Author of Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult (Hachette Book Group)

Journalist, Professor, Contributor to the New York Times

Michelle Dowd is a contributor to the New York Times, Alpinist, Catapult, and other national publications. She is the Faculty Lecturer of the Year for 2019-2021 at Chaffey College, where she founded the award-winning literary journal and creative collective, The Chaffey Review, advises Student Media, and teaches poetry and critical thinking in the California Institutes for Men and Women in Chino. She has been recognized as a Longreads Top 5 for her article on the relationship between environmentalism and hope in The Alpinist, nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, and profiled on the second season of Sincerely X, a TED production for stories too risky, painful, or controversial to be shared on the stage. In the beginning of 2020, she wrote the most popular Modern Love column in the New York Times. Her first book, Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult, published in 2023 with Hachette Book Group.

Michelle was raised on a mountain in the Angeles National Forest where she learned to identify flora and fauna, navigate by the stars, forage for edible plants, and care for the earth. As an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher, she has been teaching students and training teachers in southern California studios since 2008, as well as teaching yoga to employees at local businesses, leading Yoga on Tap, and co-hosting Yoga in Horse Time with Four Winds Equine Guided Alternative and Holistic Health Services.

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Keynote Lecture Topics

  • Foraging
  • Citizen Journalism
  • Yoga as a Practice of Self-Acceptance


Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult

Algonquin, March 7, 2023