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Still Upright & Headed Downstream: Collected River Writing

By author: John Lane
Product Code: P636
ISBN: 9780881468274
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $24.00

When John Lane was a young poet, a magazine editor asked him to leave the comfortable eddy of verse and contemplate in paragraphs why he was a kayaker. The resulting essay, "Why I Love Falling Water," began what would become a thirty-five-year stream of published poetry and prose about rivers and river people. Gathered here after decades, scattered individually throughout a dozen published books and many magazines, newspapers, and journals, are essays and poems about paddling and floating rivers all over the Southeast and beyond. Settings range from the Nantahala in North Carolina to the Tiburon in Mexico. This collection encompasses all John Lane's river writing outside his two book-length narratives CHATTOOGA: DESCENDING INTO THE DELIVERANCE RIVER and MY PADDLE TO THE SEA: ELEVEN DAYS IN THE RIVER OF THE CAROLINAS. Put in anywhere among this wealth of literary reflection and insight and you won't be disappointed.
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Review by: Susan Fox Rogers, author of MY REACH: A HUDSON RIVER MEMOIR - December 1, 2021
What a wondrous watery collection of essays and poems this is. John Lane is a master of combining moments of thrill and meditation, environmental ugliness and natural beauty; he is at home in a world where down is up and up is down. Follow this mad kayaker as he strings together one mad sentence after another.
Review by: Joe Pulliam, riverman & cofounder of Dagger Canoes - December 1, 2021
John Lane is a teacher, and his essays and poems teach us just how much rivers matter. Rivers have stories to tell too, and Lane puts those stories into words. He understands the natural and human history of the rivers of the South and understands the culture of rivers at a deeply personal level.
Review by: Gordon Grant, director of Education, North Carolina Outward Bound School - December 1, 2021
If adventure is activity on one's personal frontiers, then John Lane has spent his life on those frontiers. He enters them through rivers rapid and meandering: through prose, poetry, teaching, and social justice. He takes us off waterfalls in Mexico, down his beloved Chattooga River, on urban creeks renewed by communities, in swamps capturing alligators, and in wounded landscapes through which Piedmont rivers flow, cleansing themselves and all who travel them. His message is clear: you can go home again into nature to rediscover what has been lost and found repeatedly. He's a good observer, a good witness, and a writer who inspires us all to go out and discover those frontiers ourselves; right here, right now. There's a stream flowing near you as you read his book. His book will make you want to follow it.
Review by: Payson Kennedy, pioneer paddler and founder of The Nantahala Outdoor Center - December 1, 2021
John Lane combines the prose and poetry of a gifted writer with the insights of a dedicated teacher and environmentalist, and the love of being on the water of a lifetime paddling enthusiast. Serious paddlers will recognize Lane as one of their tribe. His writing exhibits his love of being on the water whether in a kayak on a class IV/V river, poling or route finding in a tandem wooden canoe on a low-water river, exploring the suburban rivers around his Spartanburg, South Carolina, home, or catching alligators by hand from the bow of a canoe at night.

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