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Ryan Van Lenning's Biography

Member Info

Oakland, CA
May 2009

Greetings!  I am a freelance writer based in the Bay Area.  While I focus on issues of social justice, sustainability, and travel, I also write fiction & poetry and on a wide range of topics including urban agriculture, music, restaurants, ethical travel, corporate power, local community issues, international human rights issues, religion & secularism, and peace & militarism. I strive to construct a compelling narrative and place stories and issues within a broader context, linking the local with the global.

I am writing for Oakland Local, a new sustainability and social justice-based community and news hub.  In addition, regularly contribute to Matador Travel Network, Ethical Traveler, DGuides.com, and Planetwize.com. My most recent work is a feature article on a food justice/urban agriculture organization for Terrain Magazine: Northern California's Environmental Magazine. I am currently working on a travel book called "Don't Worry, Chicken Curry" and a novel called "Sad Man Grinning."

My B.A. is in philosophy & comparative religions and I have an M.A. in Humanities.  I have over five years experience writing and teaching world cultures, history, philosophy, comparative religions, and environmental ethics at the college level.

Upcoming Works

Food Justice/Urban Ag article on "Planting Justice" for Terrain Magazine: Northern California's Environmental Magazine
Working on chapters of Novel: Sad Man Grinning
Working on chapters of travel writing book: Don't Worry, Chicken Curry

Recommended Links

Interests & Hobbies

I love to travel and write.  When I’m not engaged in writing or traveling, I enjoy music festivals, organic gardening, sipping yerba mate, scuba diving, direct actions, hiking, and camping wherever I can pitch a tent.

I have traveled widely through Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. A couple years ago I resigned the teaching job, traveled for 6-months, then resettled in the Bay Area. I have hiked Guatemalan volcanoes, woken up to the eerie roar of howler monkeys in Belize, been haunted by death camp crematoriums in Poland, contemplated mortality along the Ganges River, and have seen cheesy African pop videos on a bumpy bus ride in Kenya. 

Once I even had a short term addiction to baklava in Turkey.