Douglas Haynes is a nonfiction writer and poet whose work focuses on marginalized people and places. His 2017 nonfiction book Every Day We Live Is the Future: Surviving in a City of Disasters is a cautionary tale of urban inequality and the climate crisis that recounts two Nicaraguan families’ quests to reinvent their lives in Managua, one of the world’s most disaster-prone cities. Douglas’s essays and journalism have appeared in Orion, Longreads, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Progressive, Witness, Boston Review, North American Review and dozens of other publications. He is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Last Word. His many awards include a grant from the Fund for Environmental Journalism and a residency at the Blue Mountain Center.
Douglas grew up in Iowa and studied at the University of Wisconsin Madison and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He went on to study literature and languages in Germany, Ireland, and Guatemala while working as a dishwasher, farmhand, freelance writer, and English teacher. After years of wandering, he found his way back to the Upper Midwest, where he is now professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
A passionate advocate for ecological education and the documentary arts, he teaches creative nonfiction writing and the environmental humanities. He also regularly presents on environmental and economic justice issues in Central America at colleges and community organizations, and he volunteers with the non-profit organization Compas de Nicaragua, which promotes cross-cultural exchange and community development through projects in Managua and Carazo, Nicaragua.
Douglas lives with his wife and two daughters in Madison, Wisconsin between a corn field and Lake Monona.