John Lane, professor of English and environmental students, director of the Goodall Environmental Studies Center and acclaimed author
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – John Lane, Wofford College professor, director of its Goodall Environmental Studies Center and acclaimed author, will be inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors on Saturday, April 26, at a ceremony at Furman University.
Wofford is a co-sponsor of the event, to be held at 6 p.m. in the Younts Center at Furman. Tickets to the event are $35 per person, and may be purchased from the Academy of Authors by calling 864-282-3731 or emailing Jennifer Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lane will give a reading at 10 a.m. on April 26 at The Shi Center and the Swamp Rabbit Trail Walk at Furman. That event is free and open to the public.
The Academy of Authors annually selects new inductees “whose works have been judged culturally important,” according to the organization. “Each inductee, whether living or deceased, has added to South Carolina’s literary legacy by earning notable scholarly attention or achieving historical prominence.”
Others being inducted are Gilbert Allen, poet and short story author; Janette Turner Hospital, novelist, short story writer and professor emerita of English at the University of South Carolina; and the late Robert Quillen, newspaper editor, syndicated columnist, creator of “Aunt Het” and “Willie Willis” single-panel cartoons and novelist.
“Of course, I’m pleased and surprised to be inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors,” says Lane, who teaches English and environmental studies. “Many of the South Carolina writers I consider inspirations – and models and mentors – are already there. As my work continues, I will strive with my poetry and prose to live up to this honor.”
George W. Singleton III, an Academy inductee and the John C. Cobb Professor of Humanities at Wofford, notes, “Not only is John Lane a writer’s writer, and an environmentalist’s environmentalist, but a human’s human. He’s poetic in all of his endeavors: attuned to detail, keen in regards to the heart, and somehow still accessible. I envy John’s ability to ford the streams of prose, poetry and scholarly writing, but it makes sense in a sort of oneness-of-everything kind of way. He was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors right about the time of his birth.”
As a poet, essayist and author, Lane has been teaching students in English and creative writing since 1988. He also is a co-founder and a board member of the Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg.
Lane’s writings on nature and the environment have been published widely, and he has worked on a range of projects related to this ecological focus. In 2001, he and a Wofford biology colleague, Dr. Ellen S. Goldey, designed a first-year student learning community called “The Nature and Culture of Water,” funded as part of a $250,000 National Science Foundation grant. Since 2002, he has taught learning community workshops in New Hampshire, California, Washington, Oklahoma and Illinois on the collaboration of science and the humanities around the theme of water.
At Wofford, Lane has continued to explore and teach in the world of Southern literature. In 2004, he and creative writing colleague Deno Trakas received a grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation to develop a series of courses called “Cornbread & Sushi,” which explored the changing rural South through contemporary literature. The success of the three-course sequence resulted in a book by the same name and a grant extension for another year. Lane and Trakas have traveled with their students through sections of the South, meeting writers in their element and learning about ways in which community and the environment influence these writers’ work.
In 2008, Lane’s extensive literary papers were acquired by Texas Tech University’s James Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community and the Natural World. That year also saw the publication of a collection of columns from his Kudzu Telegraph (online and in the Spartanburg Journal).
“My Paddle to the Sea” (2011) is Lane’s book-length narrative about important Southeastern water issues framed by a kayak trip from his backyard in the South Carolina Piedmont 200 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. Of his 2012 collection of essays, “Begin with Rock, End with Water,” one reviewer writes: “As Lane, a lifelong southeasterner, meditates on treks down eastern rivers, up western mountains, through Mexican waterfalls, the reader has a dependable home within his lively and lyrical prose.”
His poetry also has received significant critical recognition. His collection “Abandoned Quarry. New and Selected Poems” won the 2012 award for poetry from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA).
In February 2014, Lane received the Water Conservationist Award from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, and in the fall of 2013, he was named a Clean Water Champion by Upstate Forever, an organization he co-founded and for which he serves as a board member.
The South Carolina Academy of Authors was founded in 1868 at Anderson College in Anderson, S.C. Its principal purpose is to identify and recognize the state’s distinguished writers and to promote their literature’s influence on our cultural heritage.
Here is the schedule of events surrounding the South Carolina Academy of Authors induction ceremony (all events are free unless otherwise noted):
Friday, April 25:
Noon – Inductee Janette Turner Hospital reading at a Book Your Lunch event at The Lazy Goat in Greenville, sponsored by Fiction Addition. Cost is $25 per person. Go to http://bookyourlunch.com/book-your-lunch-with-janette-turner-hospital/ to reserve your seat.
3 p.m. – Fountain Inn History Museum Tour, Robert Quillen’s Office. 102 Depot St., Fountain Inn, S.C. 29644
7 p.m. – Readings by Academy of Authors inductees George Singleton, Terrance Hayes and Josephine Humphreys. South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, 15 University St., Greenville, S.C. 29601
Saturday, April 26:
10 a.m. – Reading by John Lane. The Shi Center at Furman University (3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, S.C. 29613) and the Swamp Rabbit Trail Walk in Greenville.
2 p.m. – Reading by Gilbert Allen. Hughes Main Branch, Greenville Public Library, 25 Heritage Green Place, Greenville, S.C. 29601
6 p.m. – Reception and induction ceremony. Younts Center, Furman University. $35/person
For more information on these events, go to http://scacademyofauthors.org/.