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Coastals literary series features environmental writer

October 14, 2004

Janisse Ray, an activist and environmental writer from south Georgia, will read from her two books on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Coastal Carolina Universitys Wall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The reading is part of the series The Words To Say It, which will bring several writers to campus throughout the academic year to read and discuss their work.

Ray is the author of two books that interweave parts of her autobiography with stories of environmental activism in south Georgia. Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, focuses on the logging of the long-leaf pine forests. Its chapters alternate between poetic and informative reflections on old-growth pines and the ecosystems they host, and poignant memories of growing up in a junkyard with a father who suffered from mental illness yet taught her a love and respect for nature that continue to shape her creative work and community participation.

Rays second book, Wild-Card Quilt, documents her efforts to save the Altamaha River from pollution, as well as the difficulty of returning to her hometown as an adult and an activist. Ray will read from her recent works and talk about obstacles to environmentalism in the current political climate.

Ray is currently teaching at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. She was previously writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. A winner of the 1996 Merriam Frontier Award, she has published her work in numerous journals including Wild Earth, Orion, Florida Naturalist and Georgia Wildlife. She is also a nature commentator for Georgia Public Radio.

Other writers who will be appearing in the series at Coastal include South Carolinian Brad Land, author of Goat, on Feb. 17, Conway native Sheri Reynolds (Rapture of Canaan) and writing coach Rosemary Daniell (Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex and Suicide in the Deep South and others). For more information, contact Lisa Johnson in the Department of English at 349-2967.