John Lane


Poet, essayist, and author John Lane has been teaching students in English and creative writing since 1988. He’s now in the midst of a new challenge: the development of the Environmental Studies major at Wofford. Having served as interim director of the program, Lane is now director of Wofford’s Environmental Studies Center, located at the Glendale Shoals of Lawson’s Fork Creek, in the historic Glendale community.

Lane’s writings on nature and the environment have been published widely, and the Environmental Studies program is far from his first foray into this academic territory. In 2001 he developed, with Wofford biologist Ellen Goldey, a freshman learning community called "The Nature & Culture of Water," funded as part of a $250,000 National Science Foundation grant. On this grant Lane was listed as a senior instructor. Since 2002, with his colleague Dr. Goldey, he has taught learning community workshops in New Hampshire, California, Washington State, Oklahoma, and Illinois on the collaboration between science and the humanities around the theme of water.

Lane's current projects include recently co-hosting ASLE's 2007 bi-annual conference at Wofford College, working with Christopher Dickey and Brownen Dickey to compile "Digital Dickey," a site of selected James Dickey readings and interview material to be released as podcasts, completing The Old Rob Poems, a new collection of poetry to be published in 2009 by Horse

& Buggy Press, compiling a selection of his three years of Kudzu Telegraph columns published in fall 2008 by The Hub City Writers Project, and beginning the research and field work for Paddle to the Sea, a book-length narrative about important Southeastern water issues framed by a kayak trip from his backyard in the South Carolina Piedmont 200 miles to the Atlantic ocean through the Broad/Congaree/Santee river basin.

At Wofford, Lane has continued to explore and teach in the world of Southern literature. In 2004 he  and creative writing colleague Deno Trakas received $70,000 from the Watson-Brown Foundation to develop a series of courses called "Cornbread & Sushi" exploring the changing rural South through contemporary literature. The success of the three-course sequence resulted in a book by the same name and a $30,000 grant extension for another year. During three of Wofford’s January Interim terms, Lane and Trakas have traveled with their students through sections of South, meeting writers in their element and learning about the ways in which community and the environment influence these writers’ work.

In 2008 John Lane's extensive literary papers (letters, drafts, manuscripts, literary business) were acquired by Texas Tech University's James Sowell Family Collection of Literature, Community, and the Natural World.

Contact information:


Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies

Director of the Glendale Shoals Environmental Studies Center