The Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University will present a reading, book-signing opportunity and reception with George Ellison for his latest published work, “Literary Excursions in the Southern Highlands: 50 Nature Essays,” on Thursday, Nov. 17.
The event will take place in the auditorium of the H.F. Robinson Administration Building from 7 to 8 p.m., preceded by a reception with hors d’oeuvres and punch in the first-floor lobby from 6 to 7 p.m. Ellison will read selections from the book and there will be a display of artwork by his wife Elizabeth Ellison in the lobby. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
Ellison will be announced as Blue Ridge Naturalist of the Year by the Blue Ridge Naturalist Network in ceremonies at the North Carolina Arboretum on Saturday, Nov. 12. He was listed by Smokies Life, a magazine published by Great Smoky Mountains Association, as one of “100 Most Significant People in the History of Great Smoky Mountains National Park” last spring as part of National Park Service centennial celebrations.
Ellison is well-known for his programs at the Highlands Biological Station and contributes a weekly column, “Nature Journal,” to the Asheville Citizen-Times. A collection of his essays, “Mountain Passages: Natural and Cultural History of Western North Carolina,” was published in 2005 and followed the next year by “A Blue Ridge Nature Journal: Reflections on the Appalachians in Essays and Art,” which was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance nonfiction book of the year award.
He wrote the biographical introductions for reissues of two Southern Appalachian classics, Horace Kephart’s “Our Southern Highlanders” and James Mooney’s “History, Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129.