In one of his college courses on conflict resolution, Williams encountered Wendell Berry’s work. The Kentucky poet and novelist’s ideas of community rootedness, agrarian support, and simple living appealed to Williams, and he has incorporated many of them into Kinfolk, with principles of small-scale entertaining centered on simplicity, artistry, and spending time outdoors.
Kinfolk launched as a quarterly, 144-page, ad-free print magazine. Though the design team had no prior experience in publishing, they sold out their first edition in a couple weeks.
The magazine’s main editorial filters, according to Williams, are centered around this question: “Does it help strengthen neighborhoods, family, or friends?” This community-centric mission sets the tone for every issue. Indeed, Kinfolk has a recurring feature on “How to Be Neighborly.” Every issue, whether addressing urban or country readers, encourages a localist investment in the community. “We put reminders into the magazine of the value of heritage,” Williams says.
At the recent Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, held in Baltimore on November 23-26, Wendell Berry received the 2013 Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.
On Sunday, 24 November, Mr. Berry was interviewed in public by Norman Wirzba of Duke University.
I have freshened the place up a bit. Let me know if it works for you—or, more importantly, if it doesn't.
The banner photo was made by Lewis Hine and is dated May 5, 1916. It comes from the Library of Congress and is titled:
[Willie Nall, 11 years old; Raymond Jones, 10 years old; Denver Jones, 5 years old; plowing on farm. They had just finished a job of hauling. See report.] Location: [Elizabethtown vicinity, Kentucky]/L. W. Hine
In using this photo (and perhaps others to come), I am not blind to Mr. Hine's purposes—and am not interested in romanticizing the past. He was trying to document the nature of (and abuses associated with) child labor in the United States at that time. Mr. Berry is sometimes criticized for a softened or romanticized vision of rural life, but I believe the reality is in the stories, poems, and essays for a careful reader to see.
Berry was in Floyd for the annual Biological Woodsmen Week, headed up by Floyd’s own restorative forestry horseman Jason Rutledge and hosted at the Floyd EcoVillage. Rutledge and Berry have been teaming up for educational events promoting restorative forestry through worst first tree selection via horse power for nearly a decade.
Visit Loose Leaf Notes to read more and see some good pictures and a bit of video.
Yesterday's 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, reminded a number of Wendell Berry readers of Mr. Berry's early poem on that occasion—and artist Ben Shahn's subsequent creation of a book around the same.
The richest of these blog posts comes from Allan Cornett at his Pinstrip Pulpit.
Then there is Mike Demsey's appreciation at Graphic Journey.
And this use of the Berry/Shahn work at Anteater Antics.
Poet, novelist, philosopher, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer Wendell Berry will present the next Chubb Fellowship Lecture as a guest of Timothy Dwight College and theYale Sustainable Food Project(YSFP).
Berry will appear for a public conversation at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Shubert Theatre, 247 College St. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 19 from the Shubert Theatre box office.
Today, Wendell Berry arrives in Floyd.
Berry is a distinguished author and writer of more than 50 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He is a farmer and activist whose writings and life have focused on community, conservation and a simple, slower lifestyle. The 79-year-old Kentuckian has won many awards (T.S. Eliot Award, Thomas Merton Award, National Humanities Medal to name a few). Most recently, Berry was the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.
This is the second time Pickens and Voces Novae have worked together on a Wendell Berry performance. Pickens calls these collaborations “a love affair of music and words.”
“Wendell’s sensibility to the miracle of being a human being and the connection with the divine, and connection with family and earth and land and all that is something that inspires me deeply,” he says.
Now entering its 21st season, Louisville’s Voces Novae is a semi-professional community choir dedicated to performing music by living American composers. Heller says working with living American composers like Pickens on original work helps the group evolve along with the contemporary musical landscape.