USU English professor’s op-ed published in today’s New York Times

An op-ed piece by Utah State University faculty member Christopher Cokinos appears in the Aug. 12 edition of “The New York Times.” Cokinos, author of the new book “The Fallen Sky: An Intimate History of Shooting Stars,” wrote about the now-occurring Perseid meteor shower in the column under the title “Dust in the (Cosmic) Wind.”An editor at “The New York Times” contacted Cokinos after reading a review of his book, described by as an epic work that takes the reader from Antarctica to outer space, telling the tale of how the study of meteorites became a scientific passion.The book is attracting wide attention, with multiple radio interviews for Cokinos, features and interviews on and the “Kansas City Star,” as well as reviews by the Associated Press and in “Seed” magazine, the “Tucson Citizen” and “New Scientist.” More reviews are scheduled for such magazines as “Discover” and “Natural History.””I was surprised by the contact and am honored by the request,” Cokinos said.The column is a lyrical exploration of the dusty origins of the Perseid meteor shower and its meaning as a kind of summer ritual, Cokinos said.The op-ed piece is available online at “the New York Times” (”I think it’s every writer’s dream to be noticed by ‘The New York Times,’” Cokinos said. “The editing was terrific, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”At USU, Cokinos teaches creative writing courses, including nonfiction and poetry in the Department of English. He has a strong interest in research-based personal narratives and the lyric essay. He also has taught courses on American nature writing and the nonfiction literature of space exploration. At USU he is the founder and editor of “Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing.” He an associate professor of English and an adjunct associate professor of environment and society.Cokinos is currently on sabbatical leave and the best means of contact is through email, Information is also available at his new Web site (

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