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ABAC Hosts Acclaimed Author Janisse Ray April 20

TIFTON – Writer, naturalist, and activist Janisse Ray will speak at a lecture titled “Story, Transformation, and Why Writing Matters” on April 20 at 1 p.m. in Room 131 of the Horticulture Building at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Sponsored by “Pegasus,” the ABAC literary magazine, the event is open to the public at no charge.

Ray is the author of five books of literary nonfiction and a collection of eco-poetry. In 2018 she was the Louis D. Rubin Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University. She won the 2017 Southern Environmental Law Center Award in journalism for her piece on coal ash, published online in The Bitter Southerner: “From Ashes Such as These, What Can Rise?”

A 2015 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, Ray has been awarded an honorary doctorate from LaGrange College and from Unity College. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, where she was the William Kittredge Distinguished Visiting Writer 2014.

Ray’s first book, “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. It was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read.

Besides a plea to protect and restore the pine flatwoods, the book is a hard look at family, mental illness, poverty, and religion. Essayist Wendell Berry called the book “well done and deeply moving.” Anne Raver of The New York Times said, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.” The book won the Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction, American Book Award, Southern Environmental Law Center Award, and Southern Book Critics Circle Award.

Ray’s most recent book, “The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food,” looks at the movement to reclaim the genetics of our food supply. The book has been translated into Turkish and French, and it won the Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference, American Horticultural Society Book Award, Nautilus Gold Book Award, Garden Writers Association Gold Award, and Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Award.

Ray lectures nationally on nature, community, and the politics of wholeness. She lives with her husband and daughter on an organic farm in Tattnall County. For more information about this event, interested persons can contact Dr. Rachael Price at 229-391-4973 or email her at rprice@abac.edu.

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