South of South

He's traveled from Appalachia to the Andes and back, but FAU professor Johnny Payne's moral compass always points due South

Throughout his writing career, Payne has flatly refused to have writer's block
Joshua Prezant
Throughout his writing career, Payne has flatly refused to have writer's block

Payne's students reciprocate their professor's affection. "I think he's brilliant," Masadi says. "I've been in his class two years now. It feels like I haven't learned anything, but if I look back at my work, it's a complete 180. It looks like someone else's writing." At a recent seminar when Payne handed out evaluation forms and left the room, everyone in the class gushed about Payne's accessibility, his wisdom, and his attitude. "He pushes me hard, but he's not an asshole," Masadi adds. "He's very smart. He's very down to earth. He's our friend."

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