Previous month:
May 2009
Next month:
July 2009

WB cited in award-winning Alice Waters profile

Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
There’s a story about agrarian author Wendell Berry that food buffs and literary types like to pass around. According to popular legend, when an out-of-state fan asked Berry to travel and speak at a conference, the writer responded with a 14-line poem. It read in part: “In the labor of the fields longer than a man’s life I am at home. Don’t come with me. You stay home too.”

Alice Waters loves Wendell Berry’s work. As an organically-minded restauratrice and a supporter of local produce, she finds that Berry’s message lauding small-scale farming and closeness with the earth strikes a similar chord within her own philosophy. But by all appearances, the strongest connection between the 64-year-old owner of Berkeley eatery Chez Panisse and the author is their shared devotion to that fundamental mandate — “Stay home.” READ MORE ...

Reflection on WB and civil disobedience

Will Wendell Be Jailed? | Front Porch Republic.
Although many of the farmers opposing mandatory animal tagging speak in the language of self-interest - many small farmers are worried that the program will run them into bankruptcy - the opposition to the NAIS has been driven by deep political and communal commitments.

Berry’s recent words testify to that. ”I’m willing to go to jail to defend the young people who, I hope, will still have a possibility of becoming farmers on a small scale in this supposedly free country,” he told the crowd in Kentucky. In other words, Berry understands his willingness to go to jail not only on his own behalf - to keep his conscience clean, say - but also on behalf of others. That makes his a disobedience of the most civil sort. READ MORE ...

WB cited by The Ideas Guy

Which exactly is history's right side?.
History, in the guise of modern globalization, is full of all sorts of hokum and corporate agendas, they say. Is agribusiness on the right side of history? Or rampant, throwaway consumerism?

Be careful, argues Wendell Berry, a gentlemanly writer who farms his own land in Kentucky and spoke on the Ideas series, How to Think About Science. History seems in an awful hurry to homogenize life and turn you into a consumer rather than an independent citizen.

Cultivate something closer to your heart, he suggests. It's a version of small is beautiful. READ MORE ...

Rebroadcast of "Living by Words" 2002

Show featuring James Baker Hall to air tonight - Local - Kentucky.com.
KET will be airing a 2002 program featuring the late James Baker Hall Sunday, at 10:30 p.m. on KET1. Living by Words, a 90-minute KET documentary, is the story of five good friends who also happen to be five of Kentucky's best-loved authors: Bobbie Ann Mason, Wendell Berry, Gurney Norman, Ed McClanahan and Hall. The former state poet laureate, Hall died Thursday. He was 74.

Blog Watch: Reading WB

Terry Pruitt's Blog: Thoughts on Reading Wendell Berry.

Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio often speaks of Wendell Berry. I have begun to read some of the interviews referenced in the Wikipedia article on him. I was surprised the variety of topics addressed by just one man. Of course the interviewer is asking questions he or she perceives is of interest to the reader of that publication. That drives the subject matter and the tone. His assessment of Wal-mart's negative influence on American local economics may be one of the better known ideas I have heard touted often. However, I find more resonance in his thoughts on work. He describes how in days gone by small farmers produced their own food and that production helped people survive in hard times. Economic problems did not cascade into the family meals if the family produced their own food. READ MORE ...


James Baker Hall has died

James Hall leaves creative legacy behind | The Kentucky Kernel.

Former UK English professor James Baker “Jim” Hall died at his home near Sadieville, Ky., on Thursday. He was 74.

In addition to teaching at UK from 1973 to his retirement in 2004, Hall was a widely-known artist, photographer, poet and author. Hall served as Kentucky’s Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003. “

(Hall) was a very fine fiction writer, poet and master photographer,” said Gurney Norman, current Kentucky Poet Laureate and UK English professor. “He was a remarkable Kentuckian and artist.” READ MORE ...


See Also ...

Internetmonk.com:

"Hall will live on in his wonderful photographs, vivid prose and emotionally adventurous poetry."

Kentucky.com

"In sports lingo, he'd be called a triple threat," said Mr. Hall's friend and fellow photographer Guy Mendes. "He was a wonderful artist, photographer and teacher."

Louisville Courier-Journal

"Jim's poetry (he published seven volumes) is admired for its humor, crisp imagery and deep feeling. He delighted in life's little moments, and he caught them absolutely in his lilting lines."

Ace Weekly Memorial Edition



Reece/WB on coal country heartbreak

Hell Yeah, We Want Windmills | Erik Reece | Orion Magazine.

Some years ago, Wendell Berry warned me that, to fight the coal industry, one must “accept heartbreak as a working condition.” Since then, I’ve watched coal operators dismantle one mountain after another across central Appalachia. I’ve watched them dump entire mountaintops into the valleys below, strangling and poisoning the region’s healthiest streams. I’ve watched the previous administration rewrite the Clean Water Act to make this dumping legal, and I’ve watched industry insiders take control of, then undermine, the federal agencies whose job it is to prevent such abuse. Which is to say, there’s been more than enough heartbreak to go around, and it has made me leery of anyone trading in hope and promising change. READ MORE ...


WB poem cited

Children of divorce: forgive your parents! « The Rumi Secret.
How parents can cope with adult children who keep their distance:

Pray, forgive, and do the following spiritual practice every time you think of them:

Hold them in your heart with love whenever they come to mind. Don’t judge yourself when your ego strays off into condemnation, (”How could s/he do this?” How could she not call when her grandmother was dying? How could he not call when his sister’s baby was born?”) Gently bring yourself back to love and forgiveness: “Whatever he’s choosing is the best he’s capable of right now.”

Wendell Berry said:

To My Mother

I was your rebellious son,
do you remember? Sometimes
I wonder if you do remember,
so complete has your forgiveness been.

READ MORE ...

WB re-collected food essays coming

Amazon.com: Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food: Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan: Books.

Drawn from over thirty years of work, this collection joins bestsellers The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Pollan, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver, as essential reading for anyone who cares about what they eat. The essays address such concerns as: How does organic measure up against locally grown? What are the differences between small and large farms, and how does that affect what you put on your dinner table? What can you do to support sustainable agriculture?

A progenitor of the Slow Food movement, Wendell Berry reminds us all to take the time to understand the basics of what we ingest. “Eating is an agriculture act,” he writes. Indeed, we are all players in the food economy.
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158243543X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582435435