LEWISTON – Franklin Burroughs, author of the “Billy Watson’s Croker Sack” and “The River Home: A Return to the Carolina Low Country,” will give the eighth annual Otis Lecture at Bates College. He will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

Burroughs will speak on “Landscapes: The Mind’s Eye and the Inner Ear.” The recently retired Harrison McCann Professor of the English Language at Bowdoin, Burroughs is nationally known as an essayist focusing on connections between human and natural histories.

For more than 20 years his essays have appeared in The American Scholar, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review and Harpers Magazine. Many of his essays have been included in the annual compilation “Best American Essays.”

He is also represented in the “Norton Anthology of Nature Writing” and various Maine publications.

Burroughs is known for “The River Home” (University of Georgia Press; first published in 1992 as “Horry and the Waccamaw”), recounting his 1985 canoe trip on the Waccamaw River in his native South Carolina; and “Billy Watson’s Croker Sack” (W.W. Norton, 1991), a collection of essays focusing on hunting, fishing and the rural life.

He began teaching at Bowdoin in 1968 following his work for a Ph.D. at Harvard University. He received his baccalaureate from the University of the South in 1964.

The annual Otis Lecture at Bates is funded by the Philip J. Otis Endowment, established in 1996 by a gift from Margaret V.B. and C. Angus Wurtele in memory of their son, Philip, a member of the class of 1995 who died attempting to rescue injured climbers on Mount Rainier.

The endowment helps support Bates programs with an environmental focus.

The lecture is open to the public at no cost.


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