Janisse Ray

is an American writer, naturalist, and environmental activist.She attended North Georgia College, 1980–82; Florida State University, B.A., 1984; and the University of Montana, M.F.A., 1997.Her first book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, recounts her experiences growing up in a junkyard, the daughter of a poor, white, fundamentalist Christian family. The book interweaves family history and memoir with natural history writing—specifically, descriptions of the ecology of the vanishing longleaf pine forests that once blanketed much of the South. The book won the American Book Award, the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, and the Southern Environmental Law Center Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern environment. It was also chosen for the "All Georgia Reading the Same Book" project by the Georgia Center for the Book.Ray's second book, Wild Card Quilt, recounts her experiences of moving back home to Georgia with her son after attending graduate school in Montana.Her third book, Pinhook, tells the story of Pinhook Swamp, the land that connects the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Osceola National Forest in FloridaHer fourth book, Drifting into Darien, published in 2011, describes her experiences on and knowledge about the mighty Altamaha River, which runs from middle Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean at Darien.Ray published a book of poetry, A House of Branches, in 2010, and has been a contributor to Audubon, Orion, and other magazines, as well as a commentator for NPR's Living on Earth. An environmental activist, she has campaigned on behalf of the Altamaha River and the Moody Swamp.She teaches in the Chatham University Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.She was born in Baxley, Georgia the daughter of Franklin D. and Lee Ada Branch Ray. She has a son, Silas Ausable.
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