Welcome

In the sidebar to your right under Content, you will find pages with many resources related to Mr. Berry's work.

This site is not owned, operated or sanctioned by Mr. Berry, whose disapproval of computer technology is well-documented. "I hear that I have a website, but I didn't do those things. My instrument is a pencil."

The one person responsible for all of this is me, Br. Tom Murphy (btwb@brtom.org). I am not a personal friend or employee of Mr. Berry and am thus not able to arrange interviews or appearances by him.

Please support the work of The Berry Center: "like" them at Facebook and follow at Twitter. And whenever possible, please support your local, independent bookstores.

Thanks for stopping by.


Wendell Berry Speaks at The Land Institute

Wendell Berry doesn't think many people take farmers seriously.

"Farmers may be the last group even liberals laugh at," Berry, a nationally recognized poet, novelist, farmer and environmental activist, said Sunday morning at the Prairie Festival at The Land Institute.

"But no one, no matter how exalted, doesn't depend on farmers."

 Delivering the Strachan Donnelley Lecture on Conservation and Restoration, Berry said farmers have been hindered by government subsidies and overproduction in response to market forces.

"Those constraints and incentives reward poor work and are a waste of resources," he said.

Read more at Salina Journal.


Two Birds Film Changes Wendell Berry Film Title

Two Birds Film has announced that the film formerly known as The Seer (formerly known as Forty Panes) will now be known as LOOK & SEE: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.

Two Birds Film explains:

"We also decided to change the film's title after learning Mr. Berry had misgivings about being labelled a prophet. There were a few other reasons for a title change, but that alone was sufficient." 

I personally preferred the earlier Forty Panes, but understand that that may have suggested a narrow structure that the film couldn't live up to. Titles can be such pesky imps, but "A rose by any other name ..." May this important movie find much success.

UPDATED: I've been corrected about the original title. It was Forty Panes, not Forty Windows and was dropped because people heard "Forty Pains". Thanks, Two Birds!


WorldArk Review of "The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry"

When a New York Times reporter asked Wendell Berry whom he would like to write his life story, he shuddered. “A horrible thought. Nobody. As the only person who ever has lived my life, I know that most of it can never be documented, is beyond writing and beyond words.” So you can imagine the challenge documentary filmmaker Laura Dunn faced when she set out to create a film about Berry—a man famous for not owning a computer or a television, and harboring a general distrust of all things mediated by screens.

Dunn’s previous film, The Unforeseen, features a poem by Wendell Berry. She said she was surprised by how many people asked her about the poem’s author. While Berry was a transformational writer for Dunn, many people in her audiences had never heard of him. She decided her next film would focus on the writer and farmer, a man Michael Pollan credited as the instigator of the “national conversation around food and farming.”
 
Berry refused to appear on camera for the film, so Dunn had to reimagine her approach. The result is a powerful documentary that seeks to not so much look at Berry as with him. The Seer tries to capture through Berry’s eyes a vision of American agriculture as farming became more industrialized and many agricultural communities faded away.

Read the complete review by Ragan Sutterfield at the WorldArk blog.


Forthcoming Book about Wendell Berry

To be published in February, 2017.

Wendell Berry teaches us to love our places—to pay careful attention to where we are, to look beyond and within, and to live in ways that are not captive to the mastery of cultural, social, or economic assumptions about our life in these places. Creation has its own integrity and demands that we confront it.

In The Place of Imagination, Joseph R. Wiebe argues that this confrontation is precisely what shapes our moral capacity to respond to people and to places. Wiebe contends that Berry manifests this moral imagination most acutely in his fiction. Berry’s fiction, however, does not portray an average community or even an ideal one. Instead, he depicts broken communities in broken places—sites and relations scarred by the routines of racial wounds and ecological harm. Yet, in the tracing of Berry’s characters with place-based identities, Wiebe demonstrates the way in which Berry’s fiction comes to embody Berry’s own moral imagination. By joining these ambassadors of Berry’s moral imagination in their fictive journeys, readers, too, can allow imagination to transform their affection, thereby restoring place as a facilitator of identity as well as hope for healed and whole communities. Loving place translates into loving people, which in turn transforms broken human narratives into restored lives rooted and ordered by their places.

Find more information at Baylor University Press.