Christina Cooke is associate editor at the food policy site Civil Eats and a freelance writer who covers people, place, cultural phenomenon, travel and outdoor adventure for magazines and newspapers across the country. She also teaches writing at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
As a freelance writer, Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed, and masters of their own, very specialized domains. She has written about an old-school book scout for The New Yorker (here), Portland’s naked bike ride and the concept of repair cafes for The Atlantic (here and here), the love lives of captive African penguins for The New York Times (here), a quality-obsessed cartographer for High Country News (here), by-hand custom shoemakers for 1859 Oregon’s Magazine (here), the concept of Missed Connections for Willamette Week (here) and backpacking through Peru for The Oregonian (here). Additionally, she revised the Portland chapter of the 2013 Fodor’s travel guidebook to the Pacific Northwest. She hopes her writing makes readers curious about people and places they might have overlooked before, puts faces on complex social, cultural and environmental issues and deepens her readers’ understanding of their connections to one another and place.
Before striking out on her own, Cooke worked two years as a staff writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee covering K-12 education and such topics as school board decisions and teenage pregnancy. She won the newspaper a first-place award from the state press association for the breadth and quality of her coverage.
Cooke holds a BA in English from Davidson College and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University, and she studied in the documentary writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. She teaches journalism and nonfiction writing in the documentary studies programs at Duke University and Lewis & Clark College.
In 2007 and 2008, Cooke lived and worked in Torres del Paine National Park in the Chilean Patagonia, at the far southern tip of South America, where she immersed herself in the Chilean culture — all the while, keeping a travel blog called Out to See, which she still maintains today.
Cooke is represented by Tessler Literary Agency in New York City.
Christina Cooke Resume 2016