“I believe there is a spiritual element to our lives on this planet, and I think that part of that spirituality also comes through the land.”
That quote comes alive in page after page of the award-winning books of Janisse Ray, the featured Meet the Author speaker at the Statesboro Regional Library at 7 p.m. Monday.
An award-winning writer of seven books, naturalist and activist, Ray makes her home on a 46-acre Red Earth Farm in Reidsville but is known around the world for her engaging and inspiring writing about learning to live a simple, sustainable and meaningful life connected to the land. She is best known for “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood.” The New York Times Notable Book is a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast and how Ray’s childhood experience grew into a passion to save the almost vanished land. The New York Times said, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.”
Ray will share from her most recent memoir, “Drifting into Darien: a Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River.” It’s the story of what happens on a weeklong spring trip down the river, a trip Ray had dreamed of taking since she was a girl. The journey, like the river itself, is transformation. Booklist said, “Ray's encompassing, gracefully informative homage to what the Nature Conservancy has designated as one of the '75 Last Great Places' in the world is ecstatic and incensed."
Shoppers at the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market will recognize Ray from the Red Earth Farm booth, where in addition to offering organic produce, she gladly shares her knowledge of the land with warmth and wisdom as well as offering heirloom seeds for sale. That interest informs her upcoming book, “The Seed Underground: a Growing Revolution to Save Food.”
“It is driven by stories from individuals and groups who are waging a lush and quiet revolution in thousands of gardens across America, a battle to preserve our traditional cornucopia of food,” Ray said.
The reading and reception afterward are free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Meet the Author events are sponsored by the Friends of the Library.