A podcast interview with Wendell Berry filmmaker Laura Dunn

Look & See is not a romanticized version of the farmer poet, but an invitation to see the hardship, character, struggle, neighborliness and rooted love that makes up the agrarian lifestyle in Henry County, Kentucky. Laura Dunn and her crew made a generous film. I say generous because Look & See freely gave me space to ask the beautiful question – how then shall I live?

Laura and I talk about Wendell and Tanya Berry’s impact on her life, Wendell’s idea of the union of life and art, marriage as a creative partnership, the unspoken farm crisis and its implications for young farmers today, where she finds hope from the Wendell and Tanya Berry and in her community and why are there so many comedians listed in the end credits of Look & See.

Find and Listen to the interview by Paul Swanson at Contemplify.


Social Media: Where Wendell Berry's Past is Always Present?

We use social media to remain on the culture’s cutting edge, ahead of the curve, or (at the very least) up-to-date. And yet, in keeping my eye on All Things Wendell Berry, I’ve noticed an odd trend. Folks are posting links to old news and treating them as if they are new news. A week or so ago it was a surge of interest in WB having received The National Humanities Medal from President Obama. This happened six years ago in 2010.

Today a quick glance at “Wendell Berry” on Twitter shows a wide-ranging interest in another event from 2010: the withdrawal of his archives from the University of Kentucky because UK had accepted money from Big Coal and named a student residence building Wildcat Coal Lodge. 

I’m happy to see so much attention given to Wendell’s various adventures. It’s good to celebrate & remember anyone’s noble acts. But none of these tweets begin “‪#‎otd‬ (on this day) in 2010.” 

I guess we've just hit The End of History out here on the internet where all the clocks click Now and Now and Now.

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Interview with Laura Dunn about her Wendell Berry film

The Circe Institute's "Quiddity" podcast interviews Laura Dunn, whose film The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry will be premiering at SXSW later this month.

In this episode, Laura Dunn, director and producer of a new documentary about Wendell Berry called The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, joins the show. Topics include what it was like to get Berry on board with the project, the way forward for communities like the one Berry lives in, and the role of Tanya Berry in Wendell's life and work. 

Listen to the interview HERE.


Celebrating Wendell Berry's 80 Years

Earlier this month about 40 Vermonters got together in a candlelit barn in Fayston to celebrate the 80th birthday of a Kentuckian who did not attend, the writer and farmer Wendell Berry.

Berry’s poems, essays and novels are part of the intellectual foundation of the American environmental movement. He has written that we humans must learn to live in closer harmony with nature, and that small-scale farming and locally grown food are a key part of any coherent environmental ethic.

Read (and listen to) more at VPR


Wendell Berry on Edible Portland Podcast

“Advice? I don’t like to advise people I’ll never see again. I have become really adept at dodging the request for advice,” said a jocular Wendell Berry, as he sat on stage with his dear friend – Amish farmer and writer – David Kline before several hundred farmers in La Crosse, Wisconsin at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the farmer-owned cooperative CROPP, best known by its brand name, Organic Valley.

In early April, I had the distinct honor of joining Organic Valley Mission Executive – and my mom – Theresa Marquez for an interview with Berry for Underground Airwaves, a bi-monthly storytelling podcast that Edible Portland produces. (Listen to the full episode above or free from theiTunes store – search “Underground Airwaves.”) Berry had been asked by her what words of wisdom he had for the farmer-owned co-op. And despite his playfully gruff answer, he has not been adept at dodging requests for advice. In fact, the opposite is true: Since he first publishedThe Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture in 1977, Berry has used writing as a tool of influence to champion the value of family farming and caring for the earth.

Read more and listn to the podcast HERE.


Wendell Berry's work inspires film, "Forty Panes"

The most powerful way to draw a portrait of such an accomplished thinker and artist with a painfully lucid voice is to attempt to get behind his eyes and to imagine the world as he sees it. Rather than train the lens on Berry himself, as would be an expected and more typical approach, this film allows Berry, in a sense, to point the camera toward the stories and landscapes he would have us regard: the stories of small generational farmers in Henry County as a way to better understand the struggles, hopes and vital importance of rural land-based communities.

Food and agriculture have become popular topics recently, but of all the major voices on this collections of issues, Wendell’s is the only one coming from rural America. How can we have a real discussion of food and agriculture if we don’t begin to truly regard, understand and better care for our rural communities and farmers?

Visit Forty Panes


Wendell Berry article among top three most-read at Christian Century

Here are the Century magazine articles that got read the most online this year. Thanks for reading.

1) Singing from one book: Why hymnals matter, by Mary Louise Bringle. “Many churchgoers greet the announcement of a new hymnal with a single puzzled, even outraged question: Why?”

2) Sticky faith: What keeps kids connected to church? by Jen Bradbury. “We youth ministers have often tried to make our ministries cool enough to compete. But every teen knows that the church is not cool.” 

3) Caught in the middle: On abortion and homosexuality, by Wendell Berry. “Nowhere has our callow politics asserted itself more thoughtlessly and noisily than in the politicization of personal or private life.”

via The Christian Century