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Still Upright & Headed Downstream: Collected River Writing by John Lane

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For the last 40 years, John Lane has been writing poetry and prose about rivers from his home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to river destinations all over the world, but mostly in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This book presents his river writing chronologically alternating chapters of poetry with those of prose. "What a wondrous watery collection of essays and poems this is. John Lane is a master of combining moments of thrill and meditation, environmental ugliness and natural beauty; he is at home in a world where down is up and up is down. Follow this mad kayaker as he strings together one mad sentence after another." --Susan Fox Rogers. "John Lane is a teacher, and his essays and poems teach us just how much rivers matter. Rivers have stories to tell too, and Lane puts those stories into words. He understands the natural and human history of the rivers of the South and understands the culture of rivers at a deeply personal level." --Joe Pulliam. "If adventure is activity on one's personal frontiers, then John Lane has spent his life on those frontiers. He enters them through rivers rapid and meandering: through prose, poetry, teaching, and social justice. He takes us off waterfalls in Mexico, down his beloved Chattooga River, on urban creeks renewed by communities, in swamps capturing alligators, and in wounded landscapes through which Piedmont rivers flow, cleansing themselves and all who travel them. His message is clear: you can go home again into nature to rediscover what has been lost and found repeatedly.”- Gordon Grant. The author, John Lane, is professor emeritus at Wofford College where he taught creative writing and environmental studies.

Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2022. 190 pages.