Books & Essays
Bartram's Living Legacy: The Travels and the Nature of the South
Mercer University Press 2010
Gerald Thurmond's essay is entitled "Words for the Birds."
Bartram?s Living Legacy: the Travels and the Nature of the South reprints Bartram?s classic work alongside essays acknowledging the debt southern nature writers owe the man called the ?South?s Thoreau.? The book was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
The anthology includes contributions from sixteen of the South?s finest nature writers: Bill Belleville, Kathryn Braund, Dixon Bynum, Christopher Camuto, Thomas Rain Crowe, Dorinda Dallmeyer, Doug Davis, Jan DeBlieu, Whit Gibbons, Thomas Hallock, John Lane, Drew Lanham, Roger Pinckney, Janisse Ray, Matt Smith, and Gerald Thurmond, strikingly illustrated with Bartram-inspired landscape paintings by Philip Juras.
Book Review #1:
"The ecosystems that once defined the southern landscape have disappeared, as though some cataclysmic geological event had simply obliterated them. We know of them chiefly through William Bartram's Travels published in 1791. It would be about two centuries before a group of southeastern writers/naturalists/activists began to survey the landscape that we are left with, and to think about the consequences of what has been lost, and the power, beauty, and richness of what remains. Dorinda Dallmeyer, the editor of this wonderfully conceived volume, has been at the center of that group. Her idea of combining the text of the Travels with reflections by contemporary southern writers is a brilliant one. Bartram remains an indispensable writer, whose work has been neglected for too long. Now at last he, his book, and the land he describes have their champions. Some of the essayists here focus on Bartram the man, some on Bartram the naturalist, some on Bartram the writer and artist. And some focus, as he himself had done, on the landscape and ecology of the South as it now is, and as it once was.
Some of the essayists in this book I have known and admired for years; some are entirely new to me. They do not speak with one voice, or on behalf of any preconceived agenda. But their contributions, taken all together, indicate that the South now has its own distinctive tradition of environmental literature. Bartram, not Emerson, Thoreau, Muir, or John Burroughs, is its progenitor, and this book, I believe, will come to be seen as its cornerstone."
ISLE Autumn 2010
This is a story of a bird count mixed with a meditation on Robert Frost's poem, "The Oven Bird".
Outdoor Adventures in the Upcountry
Hub City Press 2010
Gerald Thurmond's essay is entitled "The Old Man and the River."
The South Carolina Upcountry is a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast. From the piedmont to the foothills, nature lovers and sportsmen alike discover adventure among pristine streams and waterfalls, winding trails and hardwood forests, and the region?s best-kept secret: its state parks.
Outdoor Adventures in the Upcountry is a collection of true stories about hunting, fishing, paddling, and other recreational pursuits by the area?s best nature and outdoors writers. This colorful, large-format book is beautifully illustrated with dozens of images by nature photographer Ted Borg, whose work has appeared for decades in South Carolina Wildlife magazine. The book is edited by Michel Stone and Lydia Dishman.
Head to a cool mountain stream with award-winning novelist Ron Rash of Clemson. Stroll a summer wood with Furman University essayist Joni Tevis. Paddle a meandering Spartanburg creek with John Lane, author of the book Chattooga. Among the adventures you?ll enjoy along the way are a deer hunt among loblolly, a hike around the gem that is Lake Jocassee, and the acrobatics of ravens at Caesars Head. Join these thirty-six writers as they explore and celebrate all that the Upcountry of South Carolina has to offer the nature lover in you.
Authors include: Ned Barrett, Hunter Bridges, Rob Brown, Russ Burns, Jane Chew, Emma Chisolm. D.W. Damrel, Ernest Glenn, Peter Godfrey, Scott Gould, Skip Eisiminger, John Faris Jr., Ellen E. Hyatt, M. Jill Jones, John Lane, J. Drew Lanham, Heather Magruder, Jim Magruder, Jeanne Malmgren, Diane Milks, Dawn Johnson Mitchell, Sabrina Moser, T. Craig Murphy, Kirk Neely, Missy Nicholson, Wilson Peden, Ron Rash, Pat Robertson, Pamela Burgess Shucker, Charles Henry Sowell, Shandi Stevenson, Michel Stone, Gerald Teaster, Joni Tevis, and Gerald Thurmond.
Book Review #1:
“Like most people I love good stories, and when those stories revolve around places I know, I like them even better. This mix of outdoor stories is a delight to read and serves as food for the imagination. For me they brought back memories that need to return. Perhaps they will do the same for you.” --Rudy Mancke, director of nature programming, SCETV
Pride of Place: A Contemporary Anthology of Texas Nature Writing
University of North Texas Press 2006
Gerald Thurmond's chapter is entitled "Faith's Place."
The Woods Stretched for Miles: New Nature Writing from the South
(edited volume) University of Georgia Press 1999
The Woods Stretched for Miles gathers essays about southern landscape and nature from nineteen writers with geographic or ancestral ties to the region. This remarkable group encompasses not only such well-known names as Wendell Berry and Rick Bass but also distinctive new voices, including Christopher Camuto, Susan Cerulean, and Eddy L. Harris.
From the savannas of south Florida through the hardwood uplands of Mississippi to the coastal rivers of the Carolinas and the high mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, the range in geography covered is equally broad. With insight and eloquence, these diverse talents take up similar themes: environmental restoration, the interplay between individual and community, the definition of wildness in an area transformed by human activity, and the meaning of our reactions to the natural world.
Readers will treasure the passionate and intelligent honorings of land and nature offered by this rich anthology. With the publication of The Woods Stretched for Miles, southern voices establish their abiding place in the ever-popular nature writing genre.
Book Review #1:
?This is an important book?the first of its kind exclusively on the Southeast. It should appeal to general readers who wish to read about the genre in the Southeast, about the long and complex relationship between American culture and nature, and also about controversial environmental issues in the region.? ?John Murray, editor of American Nature Writing
Book Review #2:
"I am delighted with the very concept of this anthology of Southern nature writing. There are dozens and dozens of recent scholarly books on environmental literature and anthologies of nonfiction nature writing, nature poetry, and environmental writing in general, including a number of regionally oriented collections. But, so far, other than Molly Westling's ecocritical studies of Southern fiction, few of these recent publications are explicitly devoted to Southern environmental literature. For this reason, there is a significant void that the The Woods Stretched for Miles is intended to fill?and I think it fills the void quite well." ?Scott Slovic, author of Being in the World: An Environmental Reader for Writers
Book Review #3:
"The Woods Stretched for Miles is by turns lively, enchanting, provocative, amusing. It will be a great gift, and a great anthology for classroom use." ?Ann Fisher-Wirth, ISLE