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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Hosts Two Award-Winning Writers for Reading, Book Signing Event

FORT MYERS, FL - The idea of nurturing the human spirit by connecting humans with the healing power of the landscape is bringing together an oral reading and book signing featuring award-winning nature writers Peter Matthiessen and Janisse Ray at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, outside in the Student Services Plaza at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Matthiessen is author of The Snow Leopard, which won the National Book Award, and has published works of fiction and non-fiction that have garnered him many awards, including the Award of Merit from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. In his most recent work, The Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes, Matthiessen describes the worldwide effort to save endangered cranes. Matthiessen also completed a trilogy based on the life and times of Ed Watson and his descendents set in the southwest Florida region.

Janisse Ray, author of the 1999 work Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, has published work in Wild Earth, Orion, Florida Naturalist and Georgia Wildlife. Ray taught Nature Writing and the Colloquium at FGCU in the fall 2001 semester and is a nature commentator for Georgia Public Radio.

The event is co-presented by the College of Arts and Sciences and Estero Bay Buddies, a citizen support organization for the Estero Bay Aquatic and State Buffer Preserves organized to preserve and protect the coastal and aquatic ecosystems of the Estero Bay estuary and watershed. The group will hold their annual meeting after the reading and book signing, which will be moved inside to Howard Hall Room 111 in case of inclement weather.

The free event is made possible to the public by cosponsors ECOSanibel, Friends of the Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves, Friends of Rookery Bay, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sierra Club of Florida/Calusa Group, Audubon Society of Southwest Florida Inc., Friends of the Lee County Library, MacIntosh Book Shop, and Canterbury School.

For more information about the event, contact chair of the humanities and arts, Jim Wohlpart, at (941) 590-7181 or

For information about Estero Bay Buddies, contact Kelly Victory at (941) 463-3240 or

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