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Susan Cerulean in conversation with Janisse Ray for I HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED THE SINGLE BIRD (virtual)

Event date: 
Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event Location

Avid Bookshop on Zoom

Avid Bookshop and the University of Georgia Press present Susan Cerulean in conversation with Janisse Ray for I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird on August 27, 2020, from 7pm to 8pm in a virtual event via Zoom. Scroll down below for 3 ticketing options:

  • Pay-What-You-Can ticket & book bundle
  • Pay-What-You-Can ticket only (no book)
  • no cost ticket to get Zoom event access only (no book)

Please support your local bookshop, a local publisher (UGA Press), and the author by purchasing the book from Avid Bookshop here.


Susan Cerulean's memoir trains a naturalist's eye and a daughter's heart on a beloved parent's lingering death from dementia. At the same time, the book explores an activist's lifelong search to be of service to the embattled natural world. During the years she cared for her father, Cerulean also volunteered as a steward of wild shorebirds along the Florida coast. Her territory was a tiny island just south of the Apalachicola bridge where she located and protected nesting shorebirds, including least terns and American oystercatchers. I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird weaves together intimate facets of adult caregiving and the consolation of nature, detailing Cerulean's experiences of tending to both.

The natural world is the "sustaining body" into which we are born. In similar ways, we face not only a crisis in numbers of people diagnosed with dementia but also the crisis of the human-caused degradation of the planet itself, a type of cultural dementia. With I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird, Cerulean reminds us of the loving, necessary toil of tending to one place, one bird, one being at a time.


Susan Cerulean is a writer, naturalist, and activist based in Tallahassee, Florida. Her nature memoir Tracking Desire: A Journey after Swallow-tailed Kites (Georgia) was named an Editors' Choice title by Audubon magazine. Her many other books include UnspOILed: Writers Speak for Florida's Coast, coedited with Janisse Ray and A. James Wohlpart, and Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf, coedited with Janisse Ray and Laura Newton. She is a founding member and former director of the Red Hills Writers Project and was named Environmental Educator of the Year by the Governor's Council for a Sustainable Florida.


Janisse Ray is an American writer whose subject is often nature. She is author of five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of eco-poetry.

Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, is a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the diminished longleaf pine ecosystem.  It was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read. Ray has earned a Pushcart Prize 2020, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Writers Association 2019, and was a 2015 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

She holds an MFA from the University of Montana. She lives in Georgia, on an organic farm near the confluence of the Altamaha and Ohoopee rivers.

I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird: A Daughter's Memoir (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book #39) Cover Image
By Susan Cerulean, David Moynahan (Photographer)
ISBN: 9780820357379
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: University of Georgia Press - August 1st, 2020

Book only.

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Ecology of a Cracker Childhood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313256
Availability: May be on our shelves or available in 5-7 business days
Published: Milkweed Editions - November 24th, 2015

Book only.

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