Previous month:
February 2010
Next month:
April 2010

'Imagination in Place' reviewed again

Nonfiction review: 'Imagination in Place' by Wendell Berry |
This stellar collection of 15 essays is culled from the past couple of decades; more than half appeared previously in the Sewanee Review. But rather than sweeping up the study floor, this collection is of a kind, exploring and advocating for intrinsic connections between creativity and geography.

"If you understand that what you do as a farmer will be measured inescapably by its effect on the place, and of course on the place's neighborhood of humans and other creatures, then if you are also a writer you will have to wonder too what will be the effect of your writing on that place," Berry writes in "Imagination in Place." READ MORE ...

'Imagination in Place' reviewed

'Imagination in Place,' by Wendell Berry.
"Imagination in Place," Berry's latest collection of essays, is the reminiscence of a literary life. It is a book that acknowledges a lifetime of intellectual influences, and in doing so, positions Berry more squarely as a cornerstone of American literature. The fire in the hearth of the volume is the title essay, which defines imagination as "the ability to make real to oneself the life of one's place or the life of one's enemy" and which counts agriculture - along with cultural geography, personal observation and inspiration - as Berry's major influences. READ MORE ...

WB poem featured in MN concert

The Singers do right by Larsen Larsen piece |
The concert featured the world premiere of a commission from composer-in-residence Joshua Shank. In "To My Parents" Shank sets a poem by Wendell Berry that explores a child's love. The a cappella anthem's move from haunting dissonance to full-throated major tonality became a powerful evocation of forgiveness. READ MORE ...

WB cited on local food

Know thy farmer |
Writer-poet-farmer Wendell Berry warned in an essay “we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else.”

Berry wrote about the perils of the industrialization and corporatization of agriculture long before the locavore movement emerged or the documentary “Food, Inc” came out.

The term “locavore” was coined in 2005 to describe someone who strives to eat food grown or produced locally. The New Oxford American Dictionary chose “locavore” as word of the year in 2007, as the movement gained momentum. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: WB and waste

There is No Such Thing as Disposable: An Agrarian Critique of Waste « Always New Depths.
This essay will explore the question of waste through a discussion of agrarian engagements with agriculture, household, and economy. Turning largely to the work of Wendell Berry, it will ask how the agrarian values of sympathy, thrift, and neighborliness can provide alternatives to the culture of waste which honor both the land and the creatures (human and otherwise) which inhabit it. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: On WB, law and marriage

Law and Marriage » Postmodern Conservative | A First Things Blog.
Marriage, in other words, has now taken the form of divorce: a prolonged and impassioned negotiation as to how things shall be divided. — Wendell Berry.

I’d be plenty happy to see more Wendell Berrys in the world. But, sometimes, apparently slam-dunk comments like these wend their way up from Berry’s Gutenberg printing press to approving corners of the internet, and I have to pause for a moment. Because, as is the case here, I feel a bit of a reflex to be vigilant — the big picture seems so right so fast that the temptation is to stipulate the seemingly little things. READ MORE ...

Interview with David Orr

An Interview with David Orr, author of ‘Down to the Wire’. Part One » Transition Culture.
So, how would you introduce yourself?

I’m David Orr. I teach at Oberlin College in Ohio and I also work as Senior Advisor to the President of the college on environmental issues generally, but specifically on the redevelopment of the town and the college to carbon neutrality, a 20,000 acre green belt and the revitalised downtown corridor. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: Wes Jackson & "rural diaspora"

the art of the rural: The Art of Coming Home.
Along with Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson is an agrarian thinker whose ideas are now finding widespread purchase in our contemporary dialogues about agricultural (and community) sustainability. Mr. Jackson is the head of The Land Institute, an organization with the mission "to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops." A visit to their site, however, will demonstrate that the Institute is equally interested in investigating the culture inside agriculture. READ MORE ...

Blog Watch: WB, paths, and roads

Finding Wendell Berry: On Roads.
In his essay A Native Hill, Wendell makes an interesting statement.

The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around. A road, on the other hand, even the most primitive road, embodies a resistance against the landscape. READ MORE ...