Charles Hood

Charles Hood is the author of 18 books, including

  • Wild LA (winner of 2019 “Best Nonfiction Award”);
  • A Californian’s Guide to the Mammals Among Us, a field guide that includes the expected things like raccoon and river otter, but also incisive entries on feral horses, feral cats, and human beings;
  • an essay collection titled A Salad Only the Devil Would Eat: The Joys of Ugly Nature;
  • and with Jose Gabriel and Erin Westeen, Sea Turtles to Sidewinders: A Guide to the Most Fascinating Reptiles and Amphibians of the West

Future book projects include a book with Jose to be called Nature After Dark and an introduction to ecology that will have a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall.

Although his primary career has been as an academic and poet, Charles also has been a factory worker, a ski instructor, a translator in Papua New Guinea, and an Artist-in-Residence in Antarctica. He has been a guest lecturer at Cambridge and at the Getty Art Museum, as well as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Huntington Art Museum.

In travels for birds and mammals Charles has been to all 50 US states and about 70 countries. He has broken his ribs (skiing), both wrists (mountain biking), two toes (mountain biking again), and his leg (hiking in the rain). He is happy to report that he has never had malaria, syphilis, or covid, but he did once catch bubonic plague while crawling through a prairie dog mound in Oklahoma looking for lesser prairie chickens.

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