Writer, naturalist and activist Susan Cerulean's latest book is a nature memoir entitled Tracking Desire: A Journey After Swallow-tailed Kites published by the University of Georgia Press in March 2005. Besides offering a pilgrimage through the much-reduced homeland of the swallow-tailed kite, the book weaves science, family history and interior musings with the fabric of the kite's life history. Tracking Desire was named Editors' Choice by Audubon magazine (March 2005). Says writer Janisse Ray "Here is a book as lovely as the bird it follows: a pleasure from beginning to end."
Cerulean is the director of the Red Hills Writers Project, and very recently edited with Janisse Ray and Laura Newton, Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf. This locally-acclaimed anthology brought together personal essays written by 29 of the area's best writers and naturalists.
Cerulean has also edited The Book of the Everglades (Milkweed Editions) and The Wild Heart of Florida (University Press of Florida), and Guide to the Great Florida Birding Trail: East Section; with Ann Morrow, she wrote the Florida Wildlife Viewing Guide (Falcon Press). Her essays and poems have appeared in Orion, Earthlight, Hope, Defenders, Florida Wildlife and Snake Nation Review. She is anthologized in Elemental South; The Woods Stretched for Miles; The Wild Heart of Florida: Writers on Florida's Wildlands and Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals.
As an activist, much of Cerulean's work brings attention to natural Florida, to local community-building and to slowing the rate of global warming. She is a founding board member of Heart of the Earth. She helped design Florida's Nongame Wildlife and Watchable Wildlife programs, and continues to work part-time as an interpretive writer for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Together with her husband oceanographer Jeff Chanton, Cerulean tries to live sustainably in an in-town neighborhood. They cultivate a large community garden and a flock of Rhode Island Red chickens with neighbors and friends. They have three college-age children.
Her current projects include a nonfiction book on the Panhandle coast; a collaborative work with photographer John Hall about the protection of River Creek, a new Georgia wildlife management area; and a report documenting the effects of overdevelopment and climate change on Florida’s wildlife.