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Environmental writers speak at main library

Posted March 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized

Our next Sunday with Friends speakers are environmental writers Janisse Ray and Holly Haworth. They read from their latest works Sunday March 11 at 3 p.m., in conference room of the main library in Abingdon.

We invite you to come and listen to their tales of longleaf pines, fossils, family and long train rides.

About Janisse Ray

Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray is author of six books. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates, one from Unity College in Maine and the other from LaGrange College in Georgia. In 2015 she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Her work has been translated and published in France and Turkey. She lives in rural southern Georgia.

Her first book of creative nonfiction rocketed Ray onto the literary scene. “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood,” a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast, was published by Milkweed Editions in 1999. Besides being a plea to protect and restore the glorious pine flatwoods of the South, the book looks hard at family, mental illness, poverty and fundamentalist religion. Essayist Wendell Berry called the book “well done and deeply moving.” Anne Raver of The New York Times said of Janisse Ray, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.” 

Ray has won many awards, including a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011, Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, an American Book Award 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000. ” Ecology of a Cracker Childhood” was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read. “The Seed Undergound” won the Nautilus Gold Book Award Better Books for a Better World in the Green Living category 2013, American Horticultural Society Book Award 2013, American Society of Journalists & Authors Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference 2013, Garden Writers Association Gold Award of Achievement for Best Book Writing 2013, and Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Award.

About Holly Haworth

Haworth’s writing brings nature to life in your imagination. You may never have seen a Tennessee pigtoe mussel, but reading ” Its nacre—the interior layer—was the white of a winter sky, distant light gathering behind thick cumulus,” creates a vivid picture.

Haworth is a Tennessee native, who teaches at the Blue Mountain School in Floyd, Virginia. She is a writer and reporter based in Southwest Virginia, where she lives along the West Fork of the Little River. She grew up in Boyd’s Creek, Tennessee, home of her great-great-great-great grandfather.

Her work appears in Lapham’s Quarterly, the Oxford American, Orion, Virginia Quarterly Review, Parabola, Earth Island Journal, Paste, Still: The Journal, Flycatcher, the On Being radio program blog, and Terrain.org, among other places.

She has written essays and reported on the harvest of mescal agave, mycelium networks, mushroom foraging, urban watersheds, root-digging and medicinal plants, the timber, gas and coal-mining industries, coal ash spills and coal ash dumps, the detriments of artificial night lighting, ancient fossils, extinction, public art, native freshwater mussels, cricket song, music and sound and long train rides.

She is a recipient of the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the Russell Fellowship at Utah State University, the Thomas J. Lyons Fellowship from the Western Literature Association, and the Jackson Fellowship at Hollins University, where she received her MFA.


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