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An appreciation of Wendell Berry's "Hannah Coulter"

This book is a testimony of a woman widowed, twice, once by war. There are several ways the book is counter-cultural in classic Berry style. First of all, the book is indeed a romance, but written from the perspective of a seventy year-old woman. This isn’t the kind of book in which the elderly woman sees her life in the past tense, back there in the romance of youth. No, the novel honors her voice as a real human being, deserving of being heard. She isn’t an “old lady,” but a person whose character deepens as the years go by.


Wendell Berry to receive The Freedom Medal 2013

Since 1963, the Four Freedoms Medals have been awarded in alternating years by the Roosevelt Institute in the U.S. and by Roosevelt Stichting in the Netherlands. This year marks the ceremony’s return to New York City after many years in Hyde Park, NY.

The medals are awarded to those who exemplify FDR’s vision of democracy as outlined in his famous January 6, 1941 address.


Whether Wendell Berry is writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish. His works include the Port William series, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture, and Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food. He has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.



Four Freedoms Awards Return to NYC to Honor Wendell Berry and Other Distinguished Progressive Voices (

Wendell Berry composer profiled

"Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music" took seven years to make, which means Maxfield, 32, has devoted much of his young life to commemorating Berry’s legacy as an American treasure. A man of letters and environmental activism, Berry has influenced numerous Utah writers from Terry Tempest Williams to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Wallace Stegner. The latter was also Berry’s mentor.

"[Berry] had a disproportionately large impact on my professional development," said the soft-spoken Maxfield, whose spectacles partially obscure the gleaming curiosity in his eyes. "Though I’m not the first person to write music about him, this is the first project of its kind in its scope."


Wendell Berry Farming Program receives gift

SPRINGFIELD, Ky. — St. Catharine College’s Berry Farming and Ecological Agrarianism Program has received the fourth largest gift in the history of the college.

Eleanor Bingham Miller, sister of the late Courier-Journal publisher Barry Bingham, Jr., pledged a gift of $450,000 to the newly formed program, which will see its first classes start in a few weeks.


Wendell Berry cited by Hauerwas on "place"

Berry observes that the good farmer comes to understand that how to farm well cannot be separated from questions of scale. A farm can be too big for the farmer to pay appropriate attention. Distraction is inimical to correct discipline and, Berry notes, "enough time is beyond the reach of anyone who has too much to do." But he says we must go farther to see that the propriety of scale must be associated with the propriety of another kind: "an understanding and acceptance of the human place in the order of Creation - a proper humility." Such humility is born by the seventeen years it took Berry to reclaim a hillside which had been exhausted by over-farming.


Happy Birthday, Wendell Berry!!

"A voice I came to love and listen for on the clear cold mornings was that of the Carolina wren. He would be quick and busy, on the move, singing as he went. Unlike the calls of the other birds, whose songs, if they sang at all, would be faltering and halfhearted in the cold, the wren's song would come big and clear, filling the air of the whole neighborhood with energy, as though he could not bear to live except in the atmosphere of his own music."
"The Long-Legged House," 164