About me

I am a journalist and translator in northwestern Illinois. My central interest as a writer lies in nature and our place within it.  I have reported on wildlife, agriculture, nuclear disaster, sea level rise, and many other topics for a wide range of national publications. You can view a few of my favorite projects by clicking on these links.

For close to a decade, I lived in rural Japan, where I divided my time between writing, growing organic rice and vegetables, and absorbing a second culture. I returned to the United States in 2014, and currently live in a small town on the banks of the beautiful Rock River.

In addition to writing, I work as a Japanese-to-English translator and editor, primarily of academic texts in the humanities and young adult fiction. From 2009 to 2015 I was the translator and English-language editor for japan-architects.com, an online directory of contemporary architects. I frequently write about architecture and design for Dwell and Interior Design.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at info@winifredbird.com. 日本語での連絡も大歓迎です。

Just the facts

  • Member, Society of Environmental Journalists
  • Member, Society of Writers, Editors, and Translators
  • Award of Excellence, 3rd International Translation Competition, Japan Literature Publishing Project
  • Joint Recipient, First Prize for Outstanding Feature, Society of Environmental Journalists Awards for Reporting on the Environment
  • Recipient, Fund for Environmental Journalism grant
  • Media Fellow, Vermont Law School Environmental Law Program
  • Recipient, Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership grant
  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test, level 1
  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, Amherst College, summa cum laude
  • Illinois Master Naturalist
  • Host, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, 2011-2014
  • Volunteer ESL tutor, Project VITAL, Sauk Valley Community College


Alpine Modern


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Christian Science Monitor




Earth Island Journal

Environmental Health Perspectives

Future Food 2050

Hiragana Times

Interior Design

Japan Focus

Japan Journal

Kansai Time Out

Kyoto Journal

Mie Times

Mother Earth News

National Public Radio

New Scientist




Pacific Standard

San Francisco Public Press




Yale Environment 360

© Copyright - Winifred Bird