Calla is still mildly irked by the fact that she missed being born in Colorado by three months. Other than Colorado—her current and childhood home—she has spent more years of her life in Nepal than in any other place. After learning to speak Nepali in 1984, she went on to volunteer, work, live, love, listen, and research in Nepal (research supported by grants from the Fulbright Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research).
Her formal education includes a BA from Pomona College—where her independently structured major was on cross-cultural perspectives on women and gender—and an MA and PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, through the Center for Intercultural Studies in Folklore and Ethnomusicology (since renamed the Americo Parédes Center for Cultural Studies). She has taught courses in anthropology, expressive culture, narrative, and the Himalayas at the University of Texas and at the Colorado College. She recently graduated from the Mile-High MFA program in creative nonfiction at Regis University.
She writes about family, community, loss, and love and is revising a memoir based on her experiences in Nepal in the 1980s and 1990s. The Tiger’s Paw Print: A Memoir of Myth and Desire in the Himalayas won the 2023 Writers’ League of Texas manuscript contest and the 2022 Sandra Carpenter Memorial Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Her Essay, “Hills, Birds Bones” was a finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Nonfiction in 2022.