Sentinel Progress

Book signing to aid College of Science

CLEMSON – What happens when you put four authors and a scientist in a room together?

They held a book signing.

Authors Ron Rash, Drew Lanham, Nic Brown and Jim Melvin were joined by astronomer Amber Porter on Jan. 24 at the Barnes and Noble in the Hendrix Student Center at Clemson University to talk with readers and sign copies of “Eclipse Over Clemson: The day Tigertown will never forget.” Rash wrote a poem specifically for the book. Lanham, Brown and Porter each wrote a chapter. Melvin is the editor of the book and wrote the opening chapter.

The hard-cover commemorative book, produced by the College of Science and published by Clemson University Press, chronicles “Eclipse Over Clemson,” a mega-viewing party for the 2017 coast-to-coast total solar eclipse that drew about 50,000 people to Clemson’s main campus on Aug. 21.

“Eclipse Over Clemson: The day Tigertown will never forget” contains chapters from scientists, naturalists, psychologists, media relations experts and even novelists. It has more than 100 full-color images of the eclipse and the crowd taken by a team of talented photographers. The cover photograph was taken by Ken Scar, an award-winning communications strategist in University Relations.

Rash is one of the South’s most renowned writers. He is the author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and The New York Times best-selling novel “Serena,” and six other novels, including “The Risen,” “One Foot in Eden,” “Saints at the River,” “The World Made Straight” and “Above the Waterfall.”

Lanham is a celebrated naturalist, who holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor in the department of forestry and environmental conservation in Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. His work and opinions have been featured on National Public Radio, National Geographic online, USA Today, the New York Times and Slate. His first solo works are “The Home Place — A Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature,” and a book of poetry titled “Sparrow Envy.”

Brown is author of the novels “In Every Way,” “Doubles” and “Floodmarkers,” which was selected as an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times Book Review. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Garden & Gun and the Harvard Review, among many other publications. Formerly the Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, he is now an assistant professor of English at Clemson University.

Melvin is the director of communications for Clemson’s College of Science. He is an award-winning journalist and a novelist and the author of “The Death Wizard Chronicles,” a magical, six-book epic fantasy for adult audiences.

Porter is a lecturer in the department of physics and astronomy in Clemson’s College of Science. She holds a Ph.D. in physics from Clemson University, where she explored the three-dimensional shape of supernova explosions in distant galaxies. Porter also serves as the director of the Clemson University planetarium and oversees the astronomy laboratory courses. She is particularly interested in sharing her love of the cosmos with non-technical audiences.

Porter and Melvin both played major roles in the planning of the “Eclipse Over Clemson” event.

All proceeds from sales of “Eclipse Over Clemson: The day Tigertown will never forget” went to the College of Science.

Staff report