"Mercer University’s Center for Southern Studies awarded the 2016 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature to Wendell Berry on April 23 in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center. The prize honors significant career contributions to Southern writing in drama, fiction or poetry."
In this conversation, Leah Bayens, assistant professor at St. Catharine College, discusses the Berry Farming and Ecological Agrarianism Program.
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Wendell Berry, the 81-year-old award-winning poet, fiction writer and essayist, has continued throughout his life to care for the Kentucky farm that generations of his family have tended. Seeking to pass on their farming legacy to a new generation, Berry and his family have formed an alliance with Saint Catherine College, a small Catholic liberal arts college run by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. Correspondent Judy Valente talks with Mary Berry, Wendell Berry’s daughter, and with nuns, students, and faculty members at the college about the lessons and values that spring from having a spiritual kinship with the land.
View Judith Valente's report at Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly on PBS
At the third annual induction ceremony, Berry became the first living author to be welcomed into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, a recent initiative of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, in Lexington, Ky., to honor the diverse and lasting contributions Kentucky writers have made to the literary landscape.
After turning his back on New York, Berry returned to Kentucky, to find, not a state bereft of literary talent, but a cadre of influential writers, such as James Still, Harlan Hubbard, Eugene Meatyard, and Thomas Merton, ready to embrace the Henry County native.
“My point is, in 1964, for a young writer in Kentucky, and in need of sustenance, sustenance was here,” Berry said.
Read more and view video of the complete ceremony at KET
In which J. P. Wright, of Railroad Workers United, opens a gathering with a poem by Wendell Berry.