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Wild Spectacle: An Evening with Janisse Ray

Event date: 
Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Janisse Ray, the bestselling author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood is back with a new memoir, Wild Spectacle.


Join the Georgia Center for the BookRead SC - The South Carolina Center for the Book, and Charis Books & More for an evening with beloved Georgia author Janisse Ray in conversation with Jessica Handler as part of the Conversations Series at First Baptist Church Decatur. The bestselling author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood is back with a new memoir, Wild Spectacle, which explores the wild earth and invites us to question its known and unknown beauties and curiosities. Doors open at 6:15pm. Event begins at 7pm. Janisse will pre-sign all books and will personalize books as desired after the event.

There are four ways to reserve a space for this event.

  • Signed Book with Single Reserved Seat
  • Signed Book with Dual Reserved Seats
  • Free Reserved in-person Seat, No Book
  • Free Virtual General Admission(Receive a link to stream this event virtually) with no book.


Looking for adventure and self-discovery, Janisse Ray has repeatedly immersed herself in wildness. From overwintering with butterflies in Mexico to counting birds in Belize, her stories capture the joys of heart-pounding amazement, discovery of romance, and becoming a better human. Reflecting on the sights of explorers like Bartram and Sacagawea, Ray documents experiences that are rare in an age of increasingly virtual, urban life alongside disappearing habitat, declining biodiversity, and climate change. From Alaska to Central America, she questions what it means to travel as a woman, speculates on the impacts of ecotourism, and wonders if future generations will make substantive change. Wild Spectacle explores the wild earth and invites us to question its known and unknown beauties and curiosities.

Janisse Ray is a naturalist and activist, and the author of seven books of nonfiction and poetry, including The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, Drifting into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River, and Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, which won the American Book Award. Her work has appeared widely in magazines and journals, and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the Nautilus Book Award, and numerous other honors. Ray lives on an organic farm near Savannah, Georgia.

Jessica Handler is the author of The Magnetic Girl, an Indie Next selection, Wall Street Journal Spring 19 pick, Bitter Southerner Summer 19 pick, and SIBA Okra pick. She is the author of the nonfiction books Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, which was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” Jessica writes essays and nonfiction features that have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, The Bitter Southerner, Electric Literature, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine. Jessica is a lecturer in English at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and lectures internationally on writing craft.


Conversations is a continuing series of Author Events at First Baptist Church Decatur. Conversations at First Baptist Church Decatur is pleased to partner with the Georgia Center for the Book and others in the Decatur area to host public dialogues that engage the minds and connect the spirits of our community, at the intersection of faith, purpose, and values.


We are committed to a safe environment for all writers, attendees, staff, and volunteers. Following CDC guidelines and adhering to the protocols of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, we are taking the following steps for safety during this program:

-Masks: Face masks must be worn properly over the nose and the mouth at all times on the entire church property, including outdoors.

-Social Distancing: Attendance indoors is capped at less than 50% of capacity, with alternating rows left vacant.

-Vaccines: Proof of completed COVID-19 vaccination (CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or image of the card) is required for anyone entering the church. In the rare event of a misplaced COVID-19 card, please provide proof of a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before the event and be prepared to sign a vaccine verification statement.


Event attendees will pick up their signed books at the event on November 4th. You cannot pick up your book in advance of the event. If you are not able to attend the event and have purchased a reserved seat with book, your book will be held for you for two weeks at Charis Books and More (184 S. Candler St. Decatur, GA 30030).

If you select a free virtual general admission link, you will not receive a book, but you may choose to purchase the book directly from Charis here. People who select a virtual admission link are not guaranteed a signed book, if purchased separately.


Register now for this event on Eventbrite.


Event address: 
First Baptist Church of Decatur
308 Clairemont Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
Event Summary: 
Janisse Ray, the bestselling author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood is back with a new memoir, Wild Spectacle.