Fred Bahnson, an essayist living in western North Carolina, explores questions of belief and belonging, and how those ancient human yearnings are brought into sharp relief in our current era. The author of Soil & Sacrament, he has published essays in Harper’s, Oxford American, Emergence, Orion, The Sun, Image, and Best American Spiritual Writing. His essay "On the Road with Thomas Merton," published in Emergence magazine, won a 2020 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council. Bahnson's other honors include a W. K. Kellogg Food & Society fellowship and a creative nonfiction fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council. He is founding director of the Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity.