2016-03-31 / News

Poland tells Kiwanis Club how his writing career came about


Tom Poland signs a copy of Georgialina for Kiwanian John Webster. Tom Poland signs a copy of Georgialina for Kiwanian John Webster. Author Tom Poland likes to talk about his life growing up in Wilkes and Lincoln Counties and how his upbringing fostered a writing career.

Born in Augusta in 1949, Poland graduated from Lincoln County High School, later earning a B.A. in Journalism and a master’s in education from the University of Georgia.

He started as a staff writer for South Carolina Wildlife magazine in the mid-1970s, then turned to writing columns for newspapers and journals across Georgia and South Carolina, including The Lincoln Journal. His first book, South Carolina – The Natural Heritage, included a foreword by James Dickey.

Poland claims he and collaborator/ photographer Robert Clark – after years of research and writing – probably know more hidden facts about South Carolina than anyone alive. But, he says, his mother was so mortified that he spent so much time writing about Carolina that he agreed to focus more on both sides of the Savannah River, leading to Georgialina, A Southland As We Knew It, published in 2015.

Poland also wrote Georgia’s official folk life drama “Solid Ground,” which describes the hardships, joys, and beauty of the farming life in south Georgia and Save The Last Dance For Me, a book on how the blues led to beach music and the shag phenomenon along the Carolina beaches.

He lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He provided the program for last week’s meeting of the Washington Kiwanis Club as the guest of Steve Blackmon.

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