The Girl in the River

(This essay first appeared in SOUTH CAROLINA REVIEW in 2009) I’ve been interested in Ron Rash’s novel Saints at the River from long before it came out in the fall of 2004. Rash is a friend, and I’ve followed his career intimately-from his beginnings as a poet with three collections, Eurika Mill (1998), Among the Believers (2000), and Raising the Dead (2002). He’s also a...

We are who we decide we are

(published in The State, Columbia, SC 12/3/2006) Is there any such thing as a Southern writer? Is there even a South to write about? There are those who think the South is a place no longer apart, a region absorbed finally, like the fluid in a blister, back into the body politic we call America. I am not among them. I tend to take the question literally. The real South is my personal geography...

Slaying School Sprawl

(Appeared in Blue Ridge Press Syndicate, 5/20/2002) As elsewhere in the South, the growth beast recently has pointed its flinty claw at Spartanburg County, S.C. A year from now, on the city’s west side, a new Super Wal-Mart will splay its massive parking-lot feet over ground occupied for 30 years by Dorman High School. Does it matter that a normal-sized Wal-Mart now stands less than a...

A Torn Quilt

(Appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer 2/11/2002) The Balsam Mountain Preserve, a 4,400-acre private residential community in the rural mountains of Jackson County, N.C, is now taking orders for homes. On paper, the Preserve sounds like an environmentalist’s dream, but I won’t be looking for my own little piece of the Smokies there. For 10 years I’ve owned a cabin in...

Wading into the Water Quality Debate

(Appeared in Blue Ridge Press Syndicate, 11/13/2001) The debate about water quality in the Southeast has taken on new urgency this fall. While state environmental protection agencies, such as South Carolina’s and Georgia’s, push for new water pollution controls, developers and public utilities fight higher standards. As the EPA steps in to manage water quality monitoring in West...

« Previous Entries

line
footer
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes