Laura Valeri is a writer, journal editor, teacher, writing consultant, translator, and educator. She is the author of four books, which include two short story collections, a book of essays, and a story cycle (a novel in stories). Her short stories, essays, and translations have appeared online and in print in journals such as Conjunctions, South85 Journal, and Fiction SoutheEast; while her critical essays and reviews have been published in Writing & Pedagogy, The Journal of College Composition & Communications, and Creative Writing Pedagogy. She is a professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University. The seven essays in Valeri’s After Life as a Human (Rain Chain Press) braid local history, environmental research, and spiritual meditations to reflect on the island’s wild beauty and the heartbreaking destruction of its fragile ecology. It’s the story of Dog Island, located off of Florida’s Forgotten Coast, and a wild twin of St. George Island, a popular resort destination. Dog Island hosts less than 100 residents and a large nature preserve. Accessible only by boat or airplane, the island’s pristine state attracts those who seek reprieve from the noise of modern life and those drawn to an ancient paradise untouched by commercial enterprises. Yet, with sea-level rising, industrial spills poisoning the wildlife, and climate change increasing the frequency of hurricanes, Dog Island is swiftly becoming a paradise lost, another casualty of humanity’s reluctance to acknowledge its interconnectedness to all living things.