Sylvia Torti

Salt Lake City, Utah

Sylvia Torti earned her Ph.D. in biology concentrating on questions of diversity and tropical forests in Africa and Central America. In 2005, her novel, The Scorpion’s Tail, won the Miguel Marmol Prize for first work by an American of Latina descent. This novel was inspired by her experiences witnessing the Zapatista uprising while on location conducting research. 

Her second novel, CAGES, won the Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature (May 2017). Set in and around a research laboratory in which two scientists are experimenting on birds to discover the origins of memory and birdsong, CAGES is a complex interweaving of biological, philosophical and mystical themes. It is also a story of love, loss and memory as the two scientists vie for the heart of a young research assistant, yet like the birds whose songs they have muted, are unable to express their true feelings for her; and she in turn refuses to be "caged." The themes of music and birdsong resonate throughout this examination of human and animal relationships.

From 2009-2012, she served as Associate Director of Rio Mesa Center, an interdisciplinary field center on the Colorado Plateau. Torti is Dean of the Honors College at the University of Utah. A 2010 participant, Torti joined Caballero in 2012 to collaborate on the next phase of Mapping Meaning.

Mapping Meaning Associate Director

 Please click on above images for links to additional work by Sylvia Torti