SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College professor and author John Lane has been named a finalist for the prestigious John Burroughs Medal, created in 1926 to recognize the best in nature writing.
Lane, a professor of English and environmental studies and director of Wofford’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center, will be recognized in April at the Annual Literary Awards Ceremony of the John Burroughs Association at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The award honors the literary legacy of Burroughs, credited with creating the modern nature essay. It is given “to a distinguished book of nature writing that combines scientific accuracy, first-hand fieldwork and excellent natural history writing,” according to the Burroughs Association. Previous medalists include Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and South Carolinian Archibald Rutledge.
This year, in an unprecedented move in, the association will recognize the four finalists’ “natural history books of uncommon distinction,” in addition to honoring the winner of the award, Brian Doyle, author of the novel “Marten, Marten.”
Lane is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, including six from the University of Georgia Press. His latest book from UGA is “Coyote Settles the South.”
On Thursday, March 23, Lane and Dan Flores, author of “Coyote America,” will lead a dialogue on coyotes as part of the Tyson Family Lecture on the Preservation and Restoration of Southern Ecosystems at Wofford. The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building on Wofford’s campus.
Lane’s “Abandoned Quarry: New & Selected Poems” includes much of his published poetry from over the past 30 years, plus a selection of new poems. His new book of poems, “Anthropocene Blues,” is forthcoming this year. Lane’s first novel, “Fate Moreland’s Widow,” was published by the late Pat Conroy’s Story River books in early 2015.
Lane has won numerous awards, including the 2001 Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment given by the Southern Environmental Law Center. In 2011 he won the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and in 2012 “Abandoned Quarry” won the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Alliance Poetry Book of the Year prize.
As an environmentalist, Lane was named the 2013 Water Conservationist of the Year by the South Carolina Wildlife Federation and the Clean Water Champion by Upstate Forever.
In 2014, he was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. Lane and his wife, Betsy Teter, co-foundered Spartanburg’s Hub City Writers Project.