April, 15 2023


  • 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
  •    |   Location of Session: Rogers Hall
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 1:45 pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

Birds play an essential role in our ecosystems, and encourage a more profound understanding of the world around us–and they’re also just plain cool. Danielle Belleny (This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds), Priyanka Kumar (Conversations with Birds), and Joan E. Strassmann (Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard) discuss their new books about birds. 


About the Authors

Danielle Belleny - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Maegan Lanham, TPWD

Danielle Belleny

Danielle Belleny is a Texas-raised wildlife biologist, science communicator, and birder based in San Marcos, TX. Danielle graduated from Texas A&M University – Kingsville and received her Master of Science at Tarleton State University where she studied quail and developed a passion for birds. In 2020, Danielle helped co-create Black Birders Week, an annual celebration dedicated to highlighting Black nature enthusiasts. In her free time, she enjoys nature watching in cemeteries. Her recent work centers the biological importance of cemeteries and encourages a shift in North American death culture. Her writing can be found in Birding and Vermilion Flycatcher. This Is a Book for People Who Love Birds is her first book.

Priyanka Kumar - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Molly Wagoner

Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka Kumar’s essays and criticism appear in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured on CBS News Radio, Psychology Today, and Oprah Daily. She is a recipient of multiple residencies and awards, including an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award, a New Mexico/New Visions Governor’s Award, a Canada Council for the Arts Grant, an Ontario Arts Council Literary Award, and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Fellowship. Kumar holds an MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. She wrote, directed and produced the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, starring Martin Scorsese and Ravi Shankar—which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival and is in the permanent collection of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Conversations with Birds is her latest book.

Joan E. Strassmann - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: David Queller

Joan E. Strassmann

Joan E. Strassmann has been a slow birder all her life. She is an award-winning teacher of animal behavior, first at Rice University in Houston and then at Washington University in St. Louis, where she is Charles Rebstock professor of biology. She has written more than two hundred scientific articles on behavior, ecology, and evolution of social organisms. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has held a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives with her husband in St. Louis, Missouri.


Joan E. Strassmann - The San Antonio Book Festival

Jeanette Honermann

Jeanette is a naturally curious community connector, outdoor enthusiast, and proud Air Force military brat. Her home base was always the library and she was “that kid” who checked out the maximum number of books every single visit. Not so secretly, she aspires to live near the ocean, raise therapy dogs and read all the books on her TBR list, because who couldn’t use a little more beach and unconditional puppy love?

In 2022 Audubon Texas awarded Jeanette with the Terry Hershey Texas Women in Conservation Impact Award for her lasting impact on conservation across the state.

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