About the Writer

Welcome to Out Walking the Dog.  I’m delighted you’ve found my website.

I am a writer who lives and walks in NYC’s Morningside Heights.  A native New Yorker, I’ve lived – and walked my dogs – in cities across the country, including Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas.

When I returned to NYC four years ago, after almost twenty years away, I found myself astonished and fascinated by the surprises of NYC nature. Raccoons! Night herons! Peregrine falcons! Red-tailed hawks! Coyotes! Owls!  I was amazed at the animals that live alongside us in our strange, highly specialized urban habitat, and began to write about what I discovered on my walks and subsequent research. Urban nature and the interaction of humans with wildlife has become an abiding passion.

I’m also a playwright and dramaturg. My plays, adaptations and performance pieces have been commissioned and produced at theaters around the country, including Dallas Theater Center, Portland Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse, East L.A. Classic Theater, Asolo Repertory, Echo Theatre, and San Diego Repertory as well as at alternative spaces in NYC.

My new play, Red Badge Variations, will premiere at Coterie Theatre in Kansas City in September 2013. Inspired by Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, the play follows five young American soldiers through their deployment in Afghanistan. Visit The Red Animal Project for more information.

Readers, I love hearing your thoughts and experiences with the natural world, so please feel free to leave a comment on a post or to contact me by email. If you like, you can subscribe to the blog, which simply means that you’ll be notified by email each time I post a new story.  Thanks for visiting!

If you’d like to reprint photos or written material, please email me and put “Out Walking the Dog” in the subject line.  (Unless otherwise noted, all photos are my own.)
Out Walking the Dog is available for freelance writing and editing assignments.
Contact: melissacoopernyc at gmail dot com


7 Comments on “About the Writer”

  1. I don’t know how it is that we didn’t discover you before, but I am so happy to have found your blog! Looking forward to your report on Rat Academy.

  2. Joy Says:

    I have so enjoyed your blog., which I came across seeking information on the number of vertebrae in the neck of birds. Not only did I learn more then the facts of my quiery your blog was a delightful read on this very cold winter day

  3. Okay, after recognizing we had a common acquaintance, I realized I never looked at your about page. No wonder we have a common acquaintance, since you and I have a lot in common. My dissertation included Metro Theatre and Dallas Children’s Theatre. I feel like I should have realized this connection sooner. ;)

  4. Donna Says:

    Came across your website via Comment Kahuna. I just love photography of ones surroundings. I’ve only been to NYC once in my life, a very short trip at that and did not have the pleasure of seeing the natural beauty around the city…all I saw was concrete. Being a dog breeder in the suburbs, I wondered how folks there dealt with exercising and potty breaks for their dogs. Your blog certainly answered that for me. Gorgeous photos. I’ll be back.

  5. uppal Says:

    Hi Outwalking the dog,
    An enjoyable experience reading this post which i came across by chance. I too have keen interest in the sights of nature, reflected in the confines of my favourite park, at a stone’s throw from my house. I was thinking of writing about my all weather friends, guess who? Squirrels of course.That is how i found this interesting blog.

    Wonderful pictures! These’ve enlivened the post so much. Good luck.:)))

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