Wendell Berry to speak at Centre College

Renowned and beloved writer and activist Wendell Berry comes to Centre College in November as a Humana/Grace Doherty Library scholar. 

Berry will give a convocation address and read from his work on Monday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Newlin Hall in the Norton Center for the Arts. The convocation is free and open to the public with no tickets required. The following day, Berry will discuss his work in a more informal gathering in the Doherty Library’s J. David Grissom Reading Room at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, visit Centre College.


Wendell Berry will interview shepherd James Rebanks

Carmichael’s Bookstore presents New York Times bestseller James Rebanks
interviewed by Kentucky’s own Wendell Berry
Louisville Main Library, Wednesday, November 9, 7 PM

In his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling memoir The Shepherd’s Life, rural shepherd James Rebanks revealed a lifestyle kept alive by a few hundred farming families in the Lake District of England to readers around the globe. In the visually rich follow-up, The Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape, Rebanks uses his camera lens and nimble prose to invite readers onto the land where his family has worked as shepherds for generations. 

Wendell Berry, Kentucky’s own beloved author, poet, and farmer, will interview Rebanks about his books and experiences. Join us as these two powerful writers discuss camaraderie, tradition, and the poetry of rural life.

For more information go HERE.


Wendell Berry to Read at Circe Conference

The Circe Institute Winter Regional Conference announces:

We are excited to announce that Mr. Wendell Berry, a noted novelist, poet, farmer, and essayist (and recipient of the 2012 Russell Kirk Paideia Prize), will be joining us at our 2017 Winter Regional Conference to read an original story. 

This event will take place on January 20, 2017 at 8:00 PM in the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, KY. A limited number of tickets are available to the public.

For more information, go HERE.


John M. Berry, Jr. (1935-2016)

I offer my deepest condolences to the Berry family on the death of Former Kentucky State Senator John M. Berry, Jr., Wendell's brother. May he rest in peace.

FRANKFORT, Ky. - John M. Berry Jr., the Henry County lawyer and farmer who led the Kentucky General Assembly's fight to become independent from the control of the governor more than three decades ago, died Thursday at his Henry County home. He was 81.

"John had been ill a long time with ill with a heart problem," his brother, author Wendell Berry, said. "I think it's appropriate to say that he died of old age."

"In our different ways John and I inherited our father's interest in farming," Wendell Berry said. "...We were both interested in land conservation and the issues related to that. We were friends and allies for a long time...He was capable, he was upright, he was considerate."

See more at The Courier-Journal.


Illustrated Wendell Berry Work Published

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On returning just now from two weeks of long walks, quiet, cows, and coyote in rural Kansas, I find that this recent publication from Counterpoint has arrived. It is the perfect welcome home.

Roots To The Earth is rich with eight poems and a recent short story by Mr. Berry, accompanied by exquisite wood engravings by Wesley Bates.

Counterpoint explains how it came to be:

In 1995, Wendell Berry’s Roots to the Earth was published in portfolio form by West Meadow Press. The wood etchings of celebrated artist and engraver Wesley Bates were printed from the original wood blocks on handmade Japanese paper.

In 2014, this work was reprinted along with additional poems. together with Bates’ original wood engravings, and designed by Gray Zeitz, Larkspur Press printed just one hundred copies of this book in a stunning limited edition.

Now it is with great pleasure that Counterpoint is reproducing this collaborative work for trade publication, as well as expanding it with the inclusion of the prize-winning never before published in book form short story, “The Branch Way of Doing,” with three additional engravings by Bates.


Wendell Berry - Wes Jackson Conversation Sold Out

The Schumacher Center has announced that the October 22 conversation between Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson (The Land Institute) has been sold out. But the event will be filmed, so watch The Schumacher Center for news of that.

The Center has described the event as follows:

On Saturday October 22nd at 7:00 pm, award winning author Wendell Berry and The Land Institute's co-founder Wes Jackson will share the stage at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in the heart of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. They will hold a conversation about the 50-Year Farm Bill, their work, and their long friendship and collaboration in support of rural communities.
 
The occasion is the 36th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, a tradition that Mr. Berry and Mr. Jackson launched when they spoke to a full house in October of 1981 on the theme of People, Land, and Community.  Over the years the Annual Schumacher Lectures have provided a platform for some of the most powerful voices for an economics that supports both people and planet – voices that include Jane Jacobs, Bill McKibben, Winona LaDuke, Van Jones, Judy Wicks, and Otto Scharmer.
 
Much has changed since the first Annual Lectures. The promise of the global economy has faded in the face of ever-greater wealth inequality and environmental degradation. There is a groundswell of interest in building a new economy that is just and recognizes planetary limits. All of us at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics are delighted that Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson have accepted our invitation to come back and share their perspectives on how far we have come, where we are, and where we believe we should go next.

For more, visit The Schumacher Center for a New Economics.

Follow The Schumacher Center at Twitter.


Study of Wendell Berry and Higher Education To Be Published

The University Press of Kentucky will be publishing a study of Wendell Berry's thoughts about higher education at some point in 2017.

Drawing on Berry’s essays, fiction, and poetry, Jack R. Baker and Jeffrey Bilbro illuminate the influential thinker’s vision for higher education in this pathbreaking study. Each chapter begins with an examination of one of Berry’s fictional narratives and then goes on to consider how the passage inspires new ways of thinking about the university’s mission. Throughout, Baker and Bilbro argue that instead of training students to live in their careers, universities should educate students to inhabit and serve their places. The authors also offer practical suggestions for how students, teachers, and administrators might begin implementing these ideas.

Baker and Bilbro conclude that institutions guided by Berry’s vision might cultivate citizens who can begin the work of healing their communities—graduates who have been educated for responsible membership in a family, a community, or a polity.

See more information at The University Press of Kentucky.


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.