SPARTANBURG, S.C. – British poet and eco-scholar Terry Gifford will explore the issue of sustainability in the context of literary ideas when he speaks Thursday at Wofford College as part of the Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy.

Gifford will speak at 7 p.m. in the Olin Teaching Theater in the Franklin W. Olin Building on campus. The event is free and open to the public. 

“Often, the issue of sustainability is approached as a dry field of numbers, charts and graphs,” John Lane, director of Wofford’s  Goodall Environmental Studies Center and professor of  environmental studies and  English, says. “Terry Gifford will explore the idea and practice of sustainability in a different context, that of literary ideas, specifically the pastoral and post-pastoral – terms we don’t usually associate with net-zero metering, carbon offsets and 350 parts per million.” 

A visiting scholar at the Centre for Writing and Environment at Bath Spa University in England since January of 2011, Gifford retired from the University of Leeds in 2004 as reader in literature and environment and director of research in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, where he taught creative writing. For 21 years, until 2008, he was founding director of the annual International Festival of Mountaineering Literature. He also is professor honorifico at the Universidad de Alicante, Spain, where he co-supervises Ph.D. students in eco-criticism and conducts research with staff in English. Author of seven collections of poetry, several books of eco-criticism, a collection of climbing journalism, he also edited the complete works of John Muir in two volumes and has written or edited four books on Ted Hughes. 

Wofford College and Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned utility, have formed a partnership to create the Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy. Speakers spend time on Wofford’s campus in downtown Spartanburg and at the college’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center on the Lawson’s Fork Creek in Glendale, S.C. The Santee Cooper Lecture Series on Sustainability and Energy Issues brings speakers from around the world, giving them a platform to discuss timely and pressing environmental issues with Wofford faculty and students, as well as students from the Spartanburg County public school systems and interested citizens.