Wendell Berry

American writer

Wendell E. Berry[1] (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, critic of culture, and farmer. He has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays.

Wendell Berry
Berry in December 2011
Berry in December 2011
Born (1934-08-05) August 5, 1934 (age 88)
Eminence, Kentucky, U.S.
OccupationPoet, farmer, writer, activist, teacher
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity of Kentucky (B.A; M.A., English, 1957)
GenreFiction, poetry, essays
Subjectagriculture, rural life, community

He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers[2] and was given The National Humanities Medal.[3] He was named to be the Jefferson Lecturer[4] for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[5] In 2013 he was given the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.[6]

On January 28, 2015, he became the first living writer to be added to the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Wendell Berry is the oldest of four children. His father was a lawyer and tobacco farmer in Henry County, Kentucky. The families of his parents had farmed in Henry County for more than 100 years.[8]

He went to grade school in New Castle, Kentucky in the 1940s. He read stories of King Arthur's knights and Robin Hood. He also read books such as The Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, The Yearling, and My Friend Flicka.[9]

Berry went to high school at Millersburg Military Institute from 1948 to 1952. After that, he studied at the University of Kentucky. By 1957 he got his Master of Arts degree. He married his wife Tanya Amyx. And his first poem was printed in Poetry magazine.[10]

In 1958, he was in a writing class at Stanford University. He studied in a group that included other famous writers, such as Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, Ernest Gaines, and Ken Kesey. In this class Berry worked on his first novel, Nathan Coulter, which was printed in April 1960.[11]

In 1961 he got some money that let him take his family to Italy and France for a year. When he came back to the United States, he taught English from 1962 to 1964 at New York University. By 1965 he moved back to Kentucky with his family and taught writing at the University of Kentucky until 1977. During this time he published two novels, five books of poetry, and four books of essays.[12]

Since 1977 he has lived with his family on Lanes Landing Farm outside of Port Royal, Kentucky. He has grown corn and small grain crops. He has a flock of sheep. He has written many books about living in a small community. He also writes about how farmers and all people should care for the land.[13]

Some Books by Wendell BerryEdit

Most of Wendell Berry's writing is now printed by Counterpoint/Catapult in Berkeley, California.

FictionEdit

  • Nathan Coulter (1960)
  • A Place on Earth (1967, 1983)
  • The Memory of Old Jack (1974)
  • That Distant Land: The Collected Stories (2004)
  • Jayber Crow (2000)
  • Hannah Coulter (2004)

Non-FictionEdit

  • The Long-Legged House (1969)
  • The Hidden Wound (1970)
  • The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture (1986)
  • Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community (1992)
  • Tobacco Harvest: An Elegy with photographs by James Baker Hall (2004)

PoetryEdit

  • New Collected Poems (2012)
  • This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979-2013 (2013)

Other WebsitesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Wendell E. Berry biography". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  2. "FSW | Current Members". fellowship. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  3. "The National Endowment for the Humanities". The National Endowment For The Humanities. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  4. "Jefferson Lecture". The National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  5. "Wendell E. Berry". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  6. "Award Winners – Dayton Literary Peace Prize". Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  7. "Wendell Berry". The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. Retrieved 2022-12-30.
  8. Berry, Wendell. Port William Novels & Stories: The Civil War to World War II. Library of America. p. 989. ISBN 978-1-59853-554-9.
  9. Berry, Wendell. Port William Novels & Stories: The Civil War to World War II. Library of America. p. 989. ISBN 978-1-59853-554-9.
  10. Berry, Wendell. Port William Novels & Stories: The Civil War to World War II. Library of America. p. 990-92. ISBN 978-1-59853-554-9.
  11. Berry, Wendell. Port William Novels & Stories: The Civil War to World War II. Library of America. p. 992. ISBN 978-1-59853-554-9.
  12. Berry, Wendell. Port William Novels & Stories: The Civil War to World War II. Library of America. p. 992-97. ISBN 978-1-59853-554-9.
  13. Berger, Rose Marie (2004). Grubbs, Morris Allen (ed.). Conversations with Wendell Berry. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. p. 164-177. ISBN 978-1-57806-992-7.