UNION — USC Union will host its third annual Upcountry Literary Festival on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23. The event is free and open to the public for opportunities to hear and meet various authors, poets and musicians.
One of the writers who will be in attendance is John Lane, a professor and director of the Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Wofford College. Not only is Lane an acclaimed writer, but he is also an environmentalist. His book “My Paddle to the Sea” is about his trip crossing South Carolina by canoe. The journey he made — which was over 300 miles — started in a Spartanburg creek near his home. He then made his way down the Broad River, crossed Lake Marion and then eventually reached the ocean by the way of the Santee. My Paddle to the Sea reflects on the history of the river, friendship and his own life.
Lane has also published other environmental narratives, such as “Waist Deep in Black Water” and “Chattooga.” Waist Deep in Black Water is a collection of his writings with topics ranging from wilderness exploration to family history in Spartanburg. In Chatooga, he tackles the Chattooga River to tell the real stories behind the river made famous by the film “Deliverance.” He portrays it as the mythical river we know from “Deliverance” versus the river known to the locals and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Watson-Brown Foundation grant was awarded to Lane and creative writing professor Deno Trakas. With this grant, the two joined together to form the “Cornbread and Sushi” course on travel, writers, food, economics and history of the South. The course also throws in the southern speech patterns and dialects to fully immerse students in rich southern culture.
For more information about the Upcountry Literary Festival, visit USC Union’s website — uscunion.sc.edu — or the festival’s Facebook page — www.facebook.com/upcountryliteraryfestival.