Julia Zarankin is a Toronto-based writer and aspiring birdsplainer with a particular fondness for sewage lagoons. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, Orion Magazine, Threepenny Review, Antioch Review, Birding Magazine, Maisonneuve, The New Quarterly, Ontario Nature and the Globe and Mail. Julia’s essays are also featured in several anthologies, including The M Word (Goose Lane), The Unpublished City (Book*hug), and Body and Soul (Caitlin Press). Julia won the Eden Mills Literary Festival Nonfiction Prize and has been first runner-up for PRISM International’s nonfiction prize, a finalist for the TNQ Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest, and twice longlisted for the CBC Nonfiction Prize. Julia holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and in a prior life, which ended in 2008, she worked as a professor of Russian literature at the University of Missouri. When she isn’t writing, Julia lectures to lifelong learners about Russian culture and literature in venues across Toronto, and leads tours to Russia and the Caucasus with Worldwide Quest.