Interview: "Wendell Berry draws the line"
WB to participate in Energy panel

Blog Watch: "Berry: Organic Reading"

Wendell Berry is a poet, novelist and one of the leading voices (particularly in his essays) in American nature writing today. He is also a farmer (from Kentucky); his vision combines thinking about the poetics and humanities of nature from the perspective of being what he calls a “marginal” farmer. For additional reading, I would highly recommend his essay “The Making of a Marginal Farm.”

The essay “Solving for Pattern” provides useful–indeed, insightful–terms for comparison as you explore farming issues in the Chesapeake. Consider, as you journey in our neighborhood, whether the farms you see are solving for problem or solving for pattern.  But I am interested in the ways that Berry’s insights suggest issues that extend out to the whole of the semester and could matter in your final project. In what ways is the “problem” of the Chesapeake a problem in need of pattern? In your own approach to the problem, whatever it may be, how do you (as writer, scientist, sociologist, student) need to consider pattern? Pattern, in many ways, is about a systems perspective; as a poet-farmer, Berry gives us some ways to think about with an eye to interdisciplinary and humanistic study.



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