In August 2015, Connor Yearsley joined the HerbalGram staff as assistant editor. Yearsley brings a background in journalism to ABC and has authored feature articles including “Amazonian Tribe Compiles 500-Page Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia” in issue 108 and “Tainted Tea: The Abysmal Conditions on Assam’s Tea Estates” in this issue.
“I like the diversity of subjects. Herbal medicine touches on a lot of different topics, like history, economics, ecology, chemistry, and biology,” Yearsley said. “It keeps things interesting.”
Yearsley, a native of Garland, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas, graduated from Baylor University in 2013 with a degree in business journalism. Previously, he interned for D CEO magazine, an affiliate publication of D Magazine in Dallas. At D CEO, he got his first experience with a professional publication, writing articles, proofreading and fact-checking, covering press conferences, and tracking real estate transactions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
After D CEO, Yearsley knew he wanted to find a job in the field of journalism. Knowing journalism is a competitive field, he began looking outside the Dallas area and came across a listing for a scientific publication with a focus on botany and health care in Austin. Intrigued, he applied, and relocated to Austin upon accepting the position at ABC. “I’ve always been interested in a lot of things,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ And here I am. I like the challenge of writing about different things, and to some degree, I think that if you can write well, you can write well about anything.”
Yearsley is still adjusting to his new home and looks forward to continuing to explore what the city has to offer. “It’s exciting to be in a new place that you’re not familiar with, that has a bunch of possibilities,” he said. “I don’t know a lot about this city, and there’s something cool about that.”
Luckily for Yearsley, living in the “live music capital of the world” caters to one of his biggest hobbies. A fan of “all types of music,” he played percussion in school band for several years, and continues to play when he can. “I own a marimba, though I’m sadly pretty rusty at it now,” he said. “I also own a djembe and some other hand percussion instruments, and hope to purchase a set of really nice bongo drums in the near future.” He has a deep interest in classical music, as well, attending countless Dallas Symphony Orchestra concerts over the last several years — his favorite composers are Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, if he had to pick — and also attending some Dallas Opera performances. Recently, he’s developed an “increasing appreciation for Puccini. He’s awesome.”
Yearsley likes to keep his hands busy: beyond percussion, he sometimes enjoys creating art like origami and … “I don’t know if I should reveal this,” he admits. “I like Legos.” In addition, he loves playing pool. “I’m sort of a poolaholic,” he said.
He also enjoys attending art exhibits when he can, and wishes he did that more often. He appreciates art of all types, and especially likes the Impressionists, including Renoir and Monet.
Other interests include photography, especially nature photography, and Yearsley hopes to travel more in the future to practice. He really wants to go to Denali National Park in Alaska, and, at some point, would love to go back to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. He’s also a fan of his hometown basketball team, the Dallas Mavericks, and he’s a frequent movie-goer. “I love movies, probably too much,” he said.
Yearsley looks forward to learning more about herbal medicine, and hopes to inherit the “cannabis beat” for future pieces with the organization. “I’m excited about getting published in a good magazine, and having my work put out there for people to read,” he said. Then he added, “Hopefully they read it!”