In the interview series Borderless: Conversations on Art, Action, and Justice, emerging and established writers talk with host Chaitali Sen about the power of words and the role of art in reflecting and changing our world.
This month’s guest is poet, playwright, and activist Juli Berwald.
Marine invertebrates stole Juli Berwald’s heart on her first snorkel in the Red Sea during college. Hoping to study the ocean forever, she spent seven years building mathematical algorithms to interpret satellite imagery of the ocean, receiving her Ph.D. in ocean science. Her husband stole her heart next, and she drifted away from the ocean to Austin, Texas to be with him. Landlocked, she wrote textbooks and popular science articles for National Geographic, the New York Times, Nature, and Redbook before the story of jellyfish led her back to the sea. Her science memoir, Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone, is “a heartfelt plea for humans to fulfill their responsibilities toward nature” (The New Yorker).
Chaitali Sen is a writer and educator based in Austin, Texas. She is the author of the novel The Pathless Sky, and numerous stories and essays which have appeared or are forthcoming in Catapult, Colorado Review, Ecotone, LitHub, Los Angeles Review of Books, New England Review, New Ohio Review, and other journals. She is the founder of the interview series Borderless: Conversations on Art, Action, and Justice.