Wendell Berry

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Wendell Berry
Berry in December 2011
Berry in December 2011
Born (1934-08-05) August 5, 1934 (age 89)
Henry County, Kentucky, U.S.
  • Poet
  • farmer
  • writer
  • activist
  • academic
EducationUniversity of Kentucky (BA, MA)
GenreFiction, poetry, essays
SubjectAgriculture, rural life, community

Wendell Erdman Berry (born August 5, 1934) is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer.[1] Closely identified with rural Kentucky, Berry developed many of his agrarian themes in the early essays of The Gift of Good Land (1981) and The Unsettling of America (1977). His attention to the culture and economy of rural communities is also found in the novels and stories of Port William, such as A Place on Earth (1967), Jayber Crow (2000), and That Distant Land (2004).

He is an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a recipient of The National Humanities Medal, and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, since 2014, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[2] Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award.[3] On January 28, 2015, he became the first living writer to be inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.[4]


Berry was the first of four children to be born to John Marshall Berry, a lawyer and tobacco farmer in Henry County, Kentucky, and Virginia Erdman Berry. The families of both parents had farmed in Henry County for at least five generations. Berry attended secondary school at Millersburg Military Institute and then earned a B.A. (1956) and M.A. (1957) in English at the University of Kentucky.[5]: 990–991  In 1956, at the University of Kentucky he met another Kentucky writer-to-be, Gurney Norman.[6] He completed his M.A. and married Tanya Amyx in 1957. In 1958, he attended Stanford University's creative writing program as a Wallace Stegner Fellow, studying under Stegner in a seminar that included Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, Ernest Gaines, Tillie Olsen, and Ken Kesey.[7][8]: 139  Berry's first novel, Nathan Coulter, was published in April 1960.

A John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship took Berry and his family to Italy and France in 1961, where he came to know Wallace Fowlie, critic and translator of French literature. From 1962 to 1964, he taught English at New York University's University Heights campus in the Bronx. In 1964, he began teaching creative writing at the University of Kentucky, from which he resigned in 1977.[8] During this time in Lexington, he came to know author Guy Davenport, as well as author and monk Thomas Merton and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard.[9]

On July 4, 1965, Berry, his wife, and his two children moved to Lane's Landing, a 12-acre farm (4.9 ha) that he had purchased, and began growing corn and small grains on what eventually became a homestead of about 117 acres (47 ha).[5]: 994  They bought their first flock of seven Border Cheviot sheep in 1978.[5]: 998  Lane's Landing is in Henry County in north central Kentucky near Port Royal, and his parents' birthplaces, and is on the western bank of the Kentucky River, not far from where it flows into the Ohio River. Berry has farmed, resided, and written at Lane's Landing ever since. He has written about his early experiences on the land and about his decision to return to it in essays such as "The Long-Legged House" and "A Native Hill".[10]

From 1977 until 1980, he edited and wrote for Rodale, Inc. in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, including for its publications Organic Gardening and Farming and The New Farm.[5]: 998  From 1987 to 1993, he returned to the English Department of the University of Kentucky.[8][11] Berry has written at least twenty-five books (or chapbooks) of poems, sixteen volumes of essays, and twelve novels and short story collections. His writing is grounded in the notion that one's work ought to be rooted in and responsive to one's place.


Berry delivered "A Statement Against the War in Vietnam" during the Kentucky Conference on the War and the Draft on February 10, 1968, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington:[12]

We seek to preserve peace by fighting a war, or to advance freedom by subsidizing dictatorships, or to 'win the hearts and minds of the people' by poisoning their crops and burning their villages and confining them in concentration camps; we seek to uphold the 'truth' of our cause with lies, or to answer conscientious dissent with threats and slurs and intimidations. . . . I have come to the realization that I can no longer imagine a war that I would believe to be either useful or necessary. I would be against any war.[13]

He debated former Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz at Manchester University in Manchester, Indiana in November 1977.[14] In this debate Berry defended the longstanding structure of small family farms and rural communities that were being replaced by what Butz saw as the achievements of industrial agriculture. “My basic assumption when talking about agriculture is that there’s more to it than just agriculture. That you can’t disconnect one part of a society from all the other parts and just look at the results and that alone.”[15][16]

On June 3, 1979, Berry engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience against the construction of a nuclear power plant at Marble Hill, Indiana. He describes "this nearly eventless event" and expands upon his reasons for it in the essay "The Reactor and the Garden."[17]

On February 9, 2003, Berry's essay titled "A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy of the United States" was published as a full-page advertisement in The New York Times. Berry opened the essay—a critique of the G. W. Bush administration's post-9/11 international strategy[18]—by asserting that "The new National Security Strategy published by the White House in September 2002, if carried out, would amount to a radical revision of the political character of our nation."[19]

On January 4, 2009, Berry and Wes Jackson, president of The Land Institute, published an op-ed article in The New York Times titled "A 50-Year Farm Bill."[20] In July 2009 Berry, Jackson and Fred Kirschenmann, of The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, gathered in Washington DC to promote this idea.[21] Berry and Jackson wrote, "We need a 50-year farm bill that addresses forthrightly the problems of soil loss and degradation, toxic pollution, fossil-fuel dependency and the destruction of rural communities."[20]

Also in January 2009, Berry released a statement against the death penalty, which began, "As I am made deeply uncomfortable by the taking of a human life before birth, I am also made deeply uncomfortable by the taking of a human life after birth."[22] And in November 2009, Berry and 38 other writers from Kentucky wrote to Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway asking them to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in that state.[23]

On March 2, 2009, Berry joined over 2,000 others in non-violently blocking the gates to a coal-fired power plant in Washington, D.C. No one was arrested.[24]

On May 22, 2009, Berry, at a listening session in Louisville, spoke against the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).[25] He said, "If you impose this program on the small farmers, who are already overburdened, you're going to have to send the police for me. I'm 75 years old. I've about completed my responsibilities to my family. I'll lose very little in going to jail in opposition to your program – and I'll have to do it. Because I will be, in every way that I can conceive of, a non-cooperator."[26]

In October 2009, Berry combined with "the Berea-based Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KEF), along with several other non-profit organizations and rural electric co-op members" to petition against and protest the construction of a coal-burning power plant in Clark County, Kentucky.[27] On February 28, 2011, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the cancellation of this power plant.[28]

On December 20, 2009, due to the University of Kentucky's close association with coal interests in the state, Berry removed his papers from the university. He explained to the Lexington Herald-Leader, "I don't think the University of Kentucky can be so ostentatiously friendly to the coal industry … and still be a friend to me and the interests for which I have stood for the last 45 years. … If they love the coal industry that much, I have to cancel my friendship."[29] In August 2012, the papers were donated to The Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort.[30]

On September 28, 2010, Berry participated in a rally in Louisville during an EPA hearing on how to manage coal ash. Berry said, "The EPA knows that coal ash is poison. We ask it only to believe in its own findings on this issue, and do its duty."[31]

Berry, with 14 other protesters, spent the weekend of February 12, 2011 locked in the Kentucky governor's office to demand an end to mountaintop removal coal mining. He was part of the environmental group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth that began their sit-in on Friday and left at midday Monday to join about 1,000 others in a mass outdoor rally.[32][33]

In 2011, the Berry Center was established at New Castle, Kentucky, "for the purpose of bringing focus, knowledge and cohesiveness to the work of changing our ruinous industrial agriculture system into a system and culture that uses nature as the standard, accepts no permanent damage to the ecosphere, and takes into consideration human health in local communities."[34]

In July 2020, Wendell Berry and his wife Tanya Amyx Berry sued the University of Kentucky to prevent the removal of a mural that has been criticized for being "racially offensive."[35] The mural was commissioned in the 1930s and was done by Ann Rice O'Hanlon, a relative of Tanya Amyx Berry.[36]

In August 2022, at a public hearing of the Henry County, Kentucky planning commission, Wendell Berry spoke against re-zoning agricultural land to allow Angel's Envy distillery to develop the property "for bourbon-barrel storage and the development of an agritourism destination." Despite the testimony by Berry and others, the planning commission granted the re-zoning request.[37][38]


Berry's nonfiction serves as an extended conversation about the life he values. According to him, the good life includes sustainable agriculture,[39] appropriate technologies,[40] healthy rural communities,[41] connection to place,[42] the pleasures of good food,[43] animal husbandry,[44] good work,[45] local economics,[46] the miracle of life,[47] fidelity,[48] frugality,[49] reverence,[50] and the interconnectedness of life.[51] The threats Berry finds to this good simple life include: industrial farming and the industrialization of life,[52] ignorance,[53] hubris,[54] greed,[55] violence against others and against the natural world,[56] the eroding topsoil in the United States,[57] global economics,[58] and environmental destruction.[59] As a prominent defender of agrarian values, Berry's appreciation for traditional farming techniques,[60] such as those of the Amish, grew in the 1970s, due in part to exchanges with Draft Horse Journal publisher Maurice Telleen.[61] Berry has long been friendly to and supportive of Wes Jackson, believing that Jackson's agricultural research at The Land Institute lives out the promise of "solving for pattern" and using "nature as model."

Jedediah Britton-Purdy has considered many of Berry's major themes and concerns:

Over the years, he has called himself an agrarian, a pacifist, and a Christian—albeit of an eccentric kind. He has written against all forms of violence and destruction—of land, communities, and human beings—and argued that the modern American way of life is a skein of violence. He is an anti-capitalist moralist and a writer of praise for what he admires: the quiet, mostly uncelebrated labor and affection that keep the world whole and might still redeem it. He is also an acerbic critic of what he dislikes, particularly modern individualism, and his emphasis on family and marriage and his ambivalence toward abortion mark him as an outsider to the left.[62]

The concept of "Solving for pattern", coined by Berry in his essay of the same title, is the process of finding solutions that solve multiple problems, while minimizing the creation of new problems.[63] The essay was originally published in the Rodale, Inc. periodical The New Farm. Though Mr. Berry's use of the phrase was in direct reference to agriculture, it has since come to enjoy broader use throughout the design community.[64][65]

Berry, who describes himself as "a person who takes the Gospel seriously,"[66] has criticized Christian organizations for failing to challenge cultural complacency about environmental degradation,[67][68] and has shown a willingness to criticize what he perceives as the arrogance of some Christians.[69] He is an advocate of Christian pacifism, as shown in his book Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Christ's Teachings About Love, Compassion and Forgiveness (2005).

Berry's core ideas, and in particular his poem "Sabbaths III, 1989 (Santa Clara Valley)," guided the 2007 documentary feature film The Unforeseen, produced by Terrence Malick and Robert Redford.[70][71] In the film Berry narrates his own poem.[72] Director Laura Dunn went on to make the 2016 documentary feature Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, again produced by Malick and Redford.[73]


Berry's lyric poetry often appears as a contemporary eclogue, pastoral, or elegy; but he also composes dramatic and historical narratives (such as "Bringer of Water"[74] and "July, 1773",[75] respectively) and occasional and discursive poems ("Against the War in Vietnam"[76] and "Some Further Words",[77] respectively).

Berry's first published poetry book consisted of a single poem, the elegiac November Twenty Six Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three (1964), initiated and illustrated by Ben Shahn, commemorating the death of John F. Kennedy. It begins,

We know
The winter earth
Upon the body
Of the young
   And the early dark

and continues through ten more stanzas (each propelled by the anaphora of "We know"). The elegiac here and elsewhere, according to Triggs, enables Berry to characterize the connections "that link past and future generations through their common working of the land."[78]

The first full-length collection, The Broken Ground (1964), develops many of Berry's fundamental concerns: "the cycle of life and death, responsiveness to place, pastoral subject matter, and recurring images of the Kentucky River and the hill farms of north-central Kentucky."[8]: 119 

According to Angyal, "There is little modernist formalism or postmodernist experimentation in [Berry's] verse."[8]: 116  A commitment to the reality and primacy of the actual world stands behind these two rejections. In "Notes: Unspecializing Poetry," Berry writes, "Devotion to order that is not poetical prevents the specialization of poetry."[79] He goes on to note, "Nothing exists for its own sake, but for a harmony greater than itself which includes it. A work of art, which accepts this condition, and exists upon its terms, honors the Creation, and so becomes a part of it."[80]

Lionel Basney placed Berry's poetry within a tradition of didactic poetry that stretches back to Horace: "To say that Berry's poetry can be didactic, then, means that it envisions a specific wisdom, and also the traditional sense of art and culture that gives art the task of teaching this wisdom."[81]

For Berry, poetry exists "at the center of a complex reminding"[82] Both the poet and the reader are reminded of the poem's crafted language, of the poem's formal literary antecedents, of "what is remembered or ought to be remembered," and of "the formal integrity of other works, creatures and structures of the world."[83]

The Sabbath Poems[edit]

From 1979 to the present Berry has been writing what he calls "Sabbath poems." They were first collected in A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997. This was followed by Sabbaths from 1998 to 2004 in Given: New Poems; and those from 2005 to 2008 are in Leavings. All Sabbath poems through 2012 are published in This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979 - 2012. Sabbaths 2013 has been published by Larkspur Press. A Small Porch contains nine Sabbath poems from 2014 and sixteen from 2015. One Sabbath poem, "What Passes, What Remains" (VIII from 2016), is published as the epilogue in The Art of Loading Brush. That poem, along with fourteen others, can also be found in Sabbaths 2016, published by Larkspur Press.

The poems are motivated by Berry's longtime habit of walking out onto the land on Sunday mornings. As he puts it, "I go free from the tasks and intentions of my workdays, and so my mind becomes hospitable to unintended thoughts: to what I am very willing to call inspiration."[84] He writes in a poem from 1979,

The bell calls in the town
Where forebears cleared the shaded land
And brought high daylight down
To shine on field and trodden road.
I hear, but understand
Contrarily, and walk into the woods.
I leave labor and load,
Take up a different story.
I keep an inventory
Of wonders and of uncommercial goods.[85]

The Sabbath poems have been described as "written from a particular place and on particular Sabbaths, and so should be read as part of a spiritual practice and as poems, in some sense, devoted to dwelling, to living thoughtfully in one place."[86] Oehlschlaeger links Berry's project to a key observation by Henry David Thoreau,

As Thoreau continues in 'Life Without Principle,' he notes the constant busyness of Americans, so engaged in 'infinite bustle' that 'there is no sabbath.' And he notes later that 'there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.' The logic is clear: destruction of the Sabbath is contrary to 'life itself.' That, I suggest, is the context in which we should read the Sabbath poems that Berry has been writing for nearly the last thirty years.[87]


Berry's fiction to date consists of eight novels and fifty-seven short stories—all of which are collected in That Distant Land (2004), A Place in Time (2012) and How It Went (2022)—and one verse drama which, when read as a whole, form a chronicle of the fictional small Kentucky town of Port William. Because of his long-term, ongoing exploration of the life of an imagined place, Berry has been compared to William Faulkner.[88] Yet, although Port William is no stranger to murder, suicide, alcoholism, marital discord, and the full range of losses that touch human lives, it lacks the extremes of characterization and plot development that are found in much of Faulkner. Hence Berry is sometimes described as working in an idealized, pastoral, or nostalgic mode, a characterization of his work which he resists: "If your work includes a criticism of history, which mine certainly does, you can't be accused of wanting to go back to something, because you're saying that what we were wasn't good enough."[89][90]

The effect of profound shifts in the agricultural practices of the United States and the disappearance of traditional agrarian life[91] are two of the major concerns of the Port William fiction, though these themes are often only a background or subtext to the stories themselves. The Port William fiction attempts to portray, on a local scale, what "a human economy … conducted with reverence"[92] looked like in the past—and what civic, domestic, and personal virtues might be elicited by such an economy, were it pursued today. Social as well as seasonal changes mark the passage of time. The Port William stories allow Berry to explore the human dimensions of the decline of the family farm and farm community under the influence of expanding post-World War II agribusiness. But these works rarely fall into simple didacticism, and are never merely tales of decline. Each is grounded in a realistic depiction of character and community. In A Place on Earth (1967), for example, farmer Mat Feltner comes to terms with the loss of his only son, Virgil. In the course of the novel, we see how not only Mat but the entire community wrestles with the acute costs of World War II.

Berry's fiction also allows him to explore the literal and metaphorical implications of marriage as that which binds individuals, families, and communities to each other, and to Nature itself. Yet not all of Port William is happily or conventionally married. "Old Jack" Beechum struggles with significant incompatibilities with his wife, and with a brief yet fulfilling extramarital affair. The barber Jayber Crow lives with a forlorn, secret, and unrequited love for a woman he believes himself "mentally" married to, though she knows nothing about it. Burley Coulter never formalizes his bond with Kate Helen Branch, the mother of his son. Yet, each of these men finds himself firmly bound up in the community, the "membership," of Port William.

Of his fictional project, Berry has written: "I have made the imagined town of Port William, its neighborhood and membership, in an attempt to honor the actual place where I have lived. By means of the imagined place, over the last fifty years, I have learned to see my native landscape and neighborhood as a place unique in the world, a work of God, possessed of an inherent sanctity that mocks any human valuation that can be put upon it."[93] Elsewhere, Berry has said, "The only thing I try to accomplish in fiction is to show how people act when they love each other."[94] The novels and stories can be read in any order.

In January, 2018, the Library of America published a volume of Berry's fiction—the first of a projected four volumes of his writing. Wendell Berry: Port William Novels & Stories (The Civil War to World War II) contains four novels and twenty-three short stories in chronological order according to the stories' events.[95] Berry is one of very few living writers currently featured in the Library of America catalog.[96]

Nathan Coulter (1960)[edit]

In Berry's first novel, young Nathan "comes of age" through dealing with the death of his mother, the depression of his father, Jarrat, the rugged companionship of his brother Tom, and the mischief of his uncle Burley. Kirkus Review concludes, "A sensitive adolescent theme is handled rather poetically, but so uniform in tone that no drama is generated and no sense of time passing is felt."[97] John Ditsky finds William Faulkner's influence in Nathan Coulter, but notes, "Not only does the work avoid the pitfalls encountered by Faulkner's initial attempts to escape his postage stamp of native soil, but Nathan Coulter also seems a wise attempt to get that autobiographical first novel out of one's system, and to do so [with] honesty."[98]

A Place on Earth (1967/1983)[edit]

Set in the critical year of 1945, this novel focuses on farmer Mat Feltner's struggle over the news that his son Virgil has been listed as missing in action while also telling multiple tales of the lives of other Port William residents, such as Burley Coulter, Jack Beechum, Ernest Finley, Ida and Gideon Crop. Reprinting by North Point Press in 1983 allowed Berry to radically revise the novel,[99] removing almost a third of its original length. Jeffrey Bilbro believes that these substantial changes marked growth in Berry's approach. "In Berry's revised edition, his technique caught up with his subject. He allows us, as readers, to participate in the ignorance of his characters, and in doing so, we may be able to understand more fully the painful difficulty of choosing fidelity to the natural order while living in the midst of mystery."[100]

The Memory of Old Jack (1974)[edit]

This third novel of Port William begins with Jack Beechum as a very old man in 1952 and continues back into his youth and maturity to uncover his life and work as a dedicated farmer, conflicted husband, and living link to past generations. The story ranges from the Civil War to just past World War II. Josh Hurst comments on Berry's ability to avoid certain narrative pitfalls, "Jack's story could be presented us either as heroic ballad or as cautionary [tale]—and there is much in his life to support both admiration and gentle tisk-tisking—but the gift of this book is how it allows a man's memories to wash over us as though unshaped by narrative or conscious editorializing."[101]

Remembering (1988)[edit]

In Berry's fourth novel, an adult Andy Catlett wanders through San Francisco remembering, but feeling alienated from, his native Port William. He struggles to come to terms with himself, his marriage, his farm, and the distorted values of American society. Of Berry's vision here, Charles Solomon writes, "Wendell Berry contrasts modern American agribusiness--which he depicts as an artificial conglomeration of sterile flow charts, debts and mechanization--with the older ideal of farming as a nurturing way of life."[102] But along these lines, Bruce Bawer finds a problem with the novel, "Here, for the first time in a Port William novel, Berry seems more interested in communicating opinions than in portraying sympathetic characters in plausible situations; the opening episode, set at a conference on agricultural policy, paints the ideological conflict between Andy and his adversaries in broad, unsubtle strokes."[103]

A World Lost (1996)[edit]

Young Andy Catlett's uncle Andrew had been murdered back in 1944, and now an adult Andy is reconstructing the event and its aftermath. "Looking back with a mixture of a young boy's incomprehension and an older man's nostalgia, Andy evokes the past not as a narrative but as a series of disembodied fragments in the flow of time."[104] In this fifth novel of Port William, Berry considers the violence of men and its impact on the family and community that must come to terms with it. "Berry shows us the psychic costs of misplaced family pride and social rigidity, and yet he also celebrates the benevolent blessing of familial love. This is simple, soul-satisfying storytelling, augmented by understated humor and quiet insight."[105]

Jayber Crow (2000)[edit]

Port William's barber recounts his life's journey in Berry's sixth novel. Jayber's early life as an orphan near Port William is followed by studies towards a possible vocation to Church ministry. A questioning mind, however, sends him in other directions until he finds himself back in Port William with an ever-growing commitment to that place and its people. As Publishers Weekly notes, "Crow's life, which begins as WWI is about to erupt, is emblematic of a century of upheaval, and Berry's anecdotal and episodic tale sounds a challenge to contemporary notions of progress. It is to Berry's credit that a novel so freighted with ideas and ideology manages to project such warmth and luminosity."[106]

Hannah Coulter (2004)[edit]

Berry's seventh novel presents a concise vision of Port William's "membership." The story encompasses Hannah's life, including the Great Depression, World War II, the postwar industrialization of agriculture, the flight of youth to urban employment, and the consequent remoteness of grandchildren. The tale is told in the voice of an old woman twice widowed, who has experienced much loss yet has never been defeated. Somehow, lying at the center of her strength is the "membership"—the fact that people care for each other and, even in absence, hold each other in a kind of presence. All in all, Hannah Coulter embodies many of the themes of Berry's Port William saga.

Andy Catlett: Early Travels (2006)[edit]

Andy Catlett, age nine, makes his first solo journey to visit with both sets of grandparents in Port William. The New York Times reviewer notes, "What the grown-up Andy recalls of that experience is transformed into 'a sort of homage' to a now-vanished world. Title characters from Berry's earlier Port William volumes — Jayber Crow, Old Jack, Hannah Coulter — appear here in affectionate cameos as the adult Andy, echoing Wordsworth, observes that 'in my memory, all who were there ... seem now to be gathered into a love that is at once a boy's and an aging man's.'"[107]


Award Year Granting institution Notes
Wallace Stegner Fellowship 1958 Stanford University [8]: 13 
Guggenheim Fellowship 1961 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation [8]: 16 
Rockefeller Fellowship 1965 The Rockefeller Foundation [8]: 22 
Arts and Letters Award 1971 American Academy of Arts and Letters [108]
UK Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement 1993 University of Kentucky Libraries [109]
Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry 1994 The Sewanee Review and the University of the South [110]
Thomas Merton Award 1999 Thomas Merton Center for Peace and Social Justice [111]
Poets' Prize 2000 Nicholas Roerich Museum
Lifetime Achievement Award 2003 Festival of Faiths in Louisville Kentucky
Kentuckian of the Year 2005 Kentucky Monthly [112]
Art of Fact Award 2006 SUNY Brockport Writers Forum and M&T Bank [113]
Premio Artusi 2008 La Città di Forlimpopoli [114]
The Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement 2009 Fellowship of Southern Writers [115]
The Louis Bromfield Society Award 2009 Malabar Farm Foundation and Ohio Department of Natural Resources [116]
The National Humanities Medal 2010 National Endowment for the Humanities [117]
The 41st Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities 2012 National Endowment for the Humanities [118]
The Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award 2012 Tulsa Library Trust [119]
Russell Kirk Paideia Prize 2012 Circe Institute [120]
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2013 American Academy of Arts and Sciences [121]
The Roosevelt Institute's Freedom Medal 2013 The Roosevelt Institute [122]
The Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award 2013 Dayton Literary Peace Prize [123]
The Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion 2013 American Academy of Religion [124]
The Allen Tate Poetry Prize 2014 The Sewanee Review [125]
The Dean's Cross for Servant Leadership in Church and Society 2014 Virginia Theological Seminary [126]
Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame 2015 The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning [127]
Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 National Book Critics Circle [128]
The Sidney Lanier Prize (now The Thomas Robinson Prize) 2016 Center for Southern Studies at Mercer University [129]
IACP Trailblazer 2017 International Association of Culinary Professionals [130]
Kentucky Humanities Carl West Literary Award 2019 Kentucky Humanities Council [131]
Founders Award 2022 Celebration of Benjamin Franklin, Founder [132]
Henry Hope Reed Award 2022 University of Notre Dame School of Architecture [133]



Title Year Publisher Reprinted/revised ISBN Notes
Nathan Coulter 1960 Houghton Mifflin, Boston North Point (1985), Counterpoint (2008) 1582434093 Also in Three Short Novels, 2002.

Heavily revised in 1985, including the removal of the last four chapters.

A Place on Earth 1967 Harcourt, Brace & World, New York Avon (1969), North Point (1983), Counterpoint (2001) 1582431248 Heavily revised in 1983
The Memory of Old Jack 1974 Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, New York Counterpoint (1999) 1582430438
The Wild Birds: Six Stories of the Port William Membership 1986 North Point, San Francisco Counterpoint (2019) 0865472165 Also in That Distant Land: The Collected Stories, 2004
Remembering 1988 North Point, San Francisco Counterpoint (2008) 1582434158 Also in Three Short Novels, 2002
Fidelity: Five Stories 1992 Pantheon, New York Counterpoint (2018) 0679748318 Also in That Distant Land: The Collected Stories, 2004
Watch With Me and Six Other Stories of the Yet-Remembered Ptolemy Proudfoot and His Wife, Miss Minnie, Née Quinch 1994 Pantheon, New York Counterpoint (2018) 0679758542 Also in That Distant Land: The Collected Stories, 2004
A World Lost 1996 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1582434182 Also in Three Short Novels, 2002
Jayber Crow 2000 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1582431604
Three Short Novels (Nathan Coulter, Remembering, A World Lost) 2002 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1582431787
Hannah Coulter 2004 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington, DC Counterpoint, Berkeley (2007) 1593760361 In 2007 Shoemaker & Hoard became part of Counterpoint LLC, Berkeley, CA.
That Distant Land: The Collected Stories 2004 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington, DC Counterpoint, Berkeley (2007) 159376054X In 2007 Shoemaker & Hoard became part of Counterpoint LLC, Berkeley, CA.
Andy Catlett: Early Travels 2006 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington, DC Counterpoint, Berkeley (2007) 1593761643 In 2007 Shoemaker & Hoard became part of Counterpoint LLC, Berkeley, CA.
Whitefoot: A Story from the Center of the World 2009 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1582436401 Available online as "Whitefoot", Orion Magazine. January/February 2007.
A Place in Time: Twenty Stories of the Port William Membership 2012 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619021889
The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings 2017 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619020386 Preface by Maurice Telleen; three essays (plus a substantial introduction); four short stories; one poem
Wendell Berry: Port William Novels & Stories, The Civil War to World War II 2018 Library of America, New York 1598535544 Edited by Jack Shoemaker; twenty-three stories and four novels
Stand By Me 2019 Allen Lane/Penguin 0241388619 aka Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows, collected short stories as published in the UK
How It Went: Thirteen More Stories of the Port William Membership 2022 Counterpoint, Berkeley 9781640095816 Thirteen new stories of the Port William membership spanning the decades from World War II to the present

Uncollected short stories[edit]

  • "Nothing Living Lives Alone". The Threepenny Review. Spring 2011. PEN/O. Henry Prize Story, 2012 [134] (The third section of this story has been published as "Time Out of Time (1947-2015)" in the 2022 collection How It Went.)


Title Year Publisher Reprinted/revised ISBN Notes
The Long-Legged House 1969 Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich; New York Shoemaker & Hoard (2004), Counterpoint (2012) 1619020017 (2012)
The Hidden Wound 1970 Houghton Mifflin Counterpoint (2010) 1582434867
The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky's Red River Gorge 1971 University Press of Kentucky; Lexington North Point (1991), Shoemaker & Hoard (2006) 1593760922 Photographs by Ralph Eugene Meatyard
A Continuous Harmony: Essays Cultural & Agricultural 1972 Harcourt, Brace; New York Shoemaker & Hoard (2004), Counterpoint (2012) 1593760922
The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture 1977 Sierra Club, San Francisco Avon Books (1978), Sierra Club/Counterpoint (third edition, 1996) 0871568772
The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural 1981 North Point, San Francisco Counterpoint (2009) 1582434840
Recollected Essays: 1965–1980 1981 North Point, San Francisco 086547026X
Standing by Words 1983 North Point, San Francisco Shoemaker & Hoard (2005), Counterpoint (2011) 1582437459
Meeting the Expectations of the Land: Essays in Sustainable Agriculture and Stewardship 1986 North Point, San Francisco 086547172X Editor with Wes Jackson and Bruce Colman
Home Economics: Fourteen Essays 1987 North Point, San Francisco Counterpoint (2009) 1582434859
Descendants and Ancestors of Captain James W. Berry 1990 Hub, Bowling Green, KY With Laura Berry
Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work 1990 University Press of Kentucky 0813109426
What Are People For? 1990 North Point, San Francisco Counterpoint (2010) 1582434875
Standing on Earth: Selected Essays 1991 Golgonooza Press, UK 0903880466
Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community 1992 Pantheon, New York 0679756515
The Farm 1995 Gray Zeitz (Larkspur Press, Monterey, Kentucky) Counterpoint (2018) 9781640090958 (2018)
Another Turn of the Crank 1996 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1887178287
Grace: Photographs of Rural America 2000 Safe Harbor Books, New London, NH 0966579836 Photographs by Gregory Spaid, essay by Gene Logsdon, story by Wendell Berry
Life Is a Miracle 2000 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1582431418
In the Presence of Fear: Three Essays for a Changed World 2001 Orion, Great Barrington, MA 0913098604
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry 2002 Counterpoint, Washington, DC 1582431469
Citizens Dissent: Security, Morality, and Leadership in an Age of Terror 2003 Orion, Great Barrington, MA 0913098620 With David James Duncan, foreword by Laurie Lane-Zucker
Citizenship Papers 2003 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington, DC Counterpoint (2014) 1619024470
Tobacco Harvest: An Elegy 2004 University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 0813123275 Photographs by James Baker Hall
Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Christ's Teachings about Love, Compassion & Forgiveness 2005 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington, DC 1593761007
The Way of Ignorance and Other Essays 2005 Shoemaker & Hoard Counterpoint (2006) 1593761198
Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food 2009 Counterpoint, Berkeley 158243543X
Imagination in Place 2010 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1582437068
What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth 2010 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1582436061
The Poetry of William Carlos Williams of Rutherford 2011 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1582437149
It All Turns on Affection: The Jefferson Lecture and Other Essays 2012 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619021145
Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder 2014 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619023059
Our Only World: Ten Essays 2015 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619024888
The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings 2017 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619020386 Preface by Maurice Telleen; three essays (plus a substantial introduction); four short stories; one poem
The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry 2018 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1640090282 Thirty-one essays selected and introduced by Paul Kingsnorth; first published in 2017 in the UK by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books
Wendell Berry: Essays 1969-1990 2019 Library of America, New York 1598536060 The Unsettling of America and thirty-two essays selected by Jack Shoemaker
Wendell Berry: Essays 1993-2017 2019 Library of America, New York 1598536087 Life Is A Miracle and forty-two essays selected by Jack Shoemaker
The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice 2022 Shoemaker & Company 9798985679809
  • Kentucky Poet Laureate, Crystal Wilkinson, interviewed Berry at Kentucky Book Festival in October 2022 on the book.[135]
  • Reviewed in: Thompson, Clifford (January 2023). "One or many?". Books. Commonweal. 150 (1): 61–62.[136]

Uncollected essays[edit]


Title Year Publisher Reprinted/revised ISBN Notes
The Broken Ground 1964 Harcourt Brace & World, New York
November twenty six nineteen hundred sixty three 1964 Braziller, New York Art by Ben Shahn
Openings 1968 Harcourt Brace & World, New York 0156700123
Farming: A Hand Book 1970 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York Counterpoint, Berkeley (2011) 1582437637
The Country of Marriage 1973 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York Counterpoint, Berkeley (2013) 1619021080
An Eastward Look 1974 Sand Dollar, Berkeley
Sayings and Doings 1974 Gnomon, Lexington, KY 0917788036
Clearing 1977 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York 0151181500
The Gift of Gravity 1979 The Deerfield Press; The Gallery Press, Old Deerfield, Massachusetts Limited edition. Illustrated by Timothy Engelland. 300 copies, each signed by Berry.
A Part 1980 North Point, San Francisco 0865470081
The Wheel 1982 North Point, San Francisco 0865470782
The Collected Poems: 1957–1982 1985 North Point, San Francisco 0865471975
Sabbaths: Poems 1987 North Point, San Francisco 0865472904
Traveling at Home 1988 The Press of Appletree Alley, Lewisburg PA North Point (1989) 1582437645
Entries 1994 Pantheon, New York Counterpoint, Washington DC (1997) 1887178376
The Farm 1995 Larkspur, Monterey KY Counterpoint, Berkeley (2018) Illustrations by Carolyn Whitesel
A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979–1997 1998 Counterpoint, Washington DC 1582430063 Later included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry 1999 Counterpoint, Washington DC 1582430373
The Gift of Gravity, Selected Poems, 1968–2000 2002 Golgonooza Press, UK
Sabbaths 2002 2004 Larkspur, Monterey KY Later included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
Given: New Poems 2005 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington DC Counterpoint, Berkeley (2006) 1593760612 Partially included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
Window Poems 2007 Shoemaker & Hoard, Washington DC 1582436231 Originally published in Openings (1968). In 2003 a limited edition of 100 copies was published by Press on Scroll Road, Carrollton OH, signed by Wendell Berry, illustrator Wesley Bates, and James Baker Hall (author of the foreword).
The Mad Farmer Poems 2008 Counterpoint, Berkeley 161902277X Originally published in Farming: A Handbook, The Country of Marriage, A Part, and Entries
Sabbaths 2006 2008 Larkspur, Monterey KY Later included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
Leavings 2010 Counterpoint, Berkeley 158243624X Partially included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
Sabbaths 2009 2011 Sewanee Review, Spring 2011 Later included in This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013
New Collected Poems 2012 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1582438153
This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New 1979–2013 2013 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619021986
Terrapin and Other Poems 2014 Counterpoint, Berkeley 161902425X Illustrated by Tom Pohrt
Sabbaths 2013 2015 Larkspur, Monterey, KY Wood engravings by Wesley Bates
A Small Porch 2016 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619026162 Sabbath Poems 2014 and 2015 together with "The Presence of Nature in the Natural World: A Long Conversation" (also later included in The Art of Loading Brush)
Roots to the Earth 2016 Counterpoint, Berkeley 1619027800 Eight previously published poems and one then-uncollected short story ("The Branch Way of Doing"), accompanied by wood engravings by Wesley Bates. This is the trade edition (with the added short story and engravings) of the 2014 Larkspur Press edition, based on the 1995 West Meadow Press portfolio.
Sabbaths 2016 2018 Larkspur, Monterey, KY "What Passes, What Remains" (2016, VIII) is also to be found in The Art of Loading Brush. Wood engravings by Wesley Bates.


  • Weinreb, Mindy. "A Question a Day: A Written Conversation with Wendell Berry" in Merchant, 1991[137]
  • Beattie, L. Elisabeth (Editor). "Wendell Berry" in Conversations With Kentucky Writers, University Press of Kentucky, 1996.
  • Minick, Jim. "A Citizen and a Native: An Interview with Wendell Berry" Appalachian Journal, Vol. 31, Nos 3–4, (Spring-Summer, 2004)[138]
  • Berger, Rose Marie. "Wendell Berry interview complete text," Sojourner's Magazine, July 2004 [139]
  • Brockman, Holly. "How can a family 'live at the center of its own attention?' Wendell Berry's thoughts on the good life", January/February 2006 [140]
  • Grubbs, Morris Allen (Editor). Conversations with Wendell Berry, University Press of Mississippi, 2007. ISBN 1578069920
  • Hooks, Bell. "Healing Talk: A Conversation" in "Belonging: A Culture of Place", 2009, Routledge.
  • Smith, Peter. "Wendell Berry's still unsettled in his ways." The Courier-Journal, September 30, 2007, A1.
  • "Wendell Berry: A conversation," The Diane Rehm Show. WAMU 88.5 American University Radio, November 30, 2009.[141]
  • Leonard, Sarah. "Nature as an Ally" Dissent, Vol. 59, No. 2, Spring, 2012
  • "Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet," Moyers & Company. PBS. October 4, 2013.[142]
  • Lehrer, Brian. The Brian Lehrer Show WYNC, October 17, 2013 [143]
  • "Distant Neighbors: Wendell Berry & Gary Snyder", part of 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth / Sacred Self [144]
  • "Wendell Berry, Burkean" Interview with Gracy Olmstead. The American Conservative, February 17, 2015.[145]
  • "Going Home with Wendell Berry." Petrusich, Amanda. The New Yorker. July 2019.[146]
  • Fisher-Smith, Jordan. "Field Observations: An Interview with Wendell Berry'" [147]
  • DeChristopher, Tim. "To Live and Love with a Dying World: A conversation between Tim DeCristopher and Wendell Berry". Orion, Spring 2020.[148]
  • "2022 Kentucky Book Festival: Crystal Wilkinson in conversation with Wendell Berry."[135]

Forewords, introductions, prefaces, and afterwords[edit]

Title Author Year Publisher ISBN
Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work Meine, Curt D. 2010 University of Wisconsin Press 9780299249045
At Nature's Pace: Farming and the American Dream Logsdon, Gene 1994 Pantheon 9780679427414
Wendell Berry and Higher Education: Cultivating Virtues of Place Baker, Jack R. and Jeffrey Bilbro 2017 University Press of Kentucky 978081316902
The Caudills of the Cumberlands: Anne's Story of Life with Harry Cummins, Terry 2013 Butler Books 9781935497684
Driftwood Valley: A Woman Naturalist in the Northern Wilderness Stanwell-Fletcher, Theodora C. 1999 Oregon State University Press 9780870715242
Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation Nabhan, Gary Paul 2002 University of Arizona Press 9780816522590
God and Work: Aspects of Art and Tradition Keeble, Brian 2009 World Wisdom Books 9781933316680
Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer's Journal Kline, David 2001 The Wooster Book Company 9781888683226
A Holy Tradition of Working: Passages From the Writings of Eric Gill Gill, Eric 2021 Angelico Press 9781621386827
The Holy Earth Bailey, Liberty Hyde 2015 Counterpoint 9781619025875
Hope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World Keogh, Martin (ed.) 2010 North Atlantic Books 9781556439193
James Archambeault's Historic Kentucky Archambeault, James 2006 University Press of Kentucky 9780813124209
Kentucky's Natural Heritage: An Illustrated Guide to Biodiversity Abernathy, Greg (ed.) 2010 University Press of Kentucky 9780813125756
Letter to a Young Farmer: How to Live Richly without Wealth on the New Garden Farm Logsdon, Gene 2017 Chelsea Green Pub. 9781603587259
Letters from Larksong: An Amish Naturalist Explores His Organic Farm Kline, David 2010 Wooster Book Co. 9781590982013
Living the Sabbath: Discovering the Rhythms of Rest and Delight Wirzba, Norman 2006 Brazos Press 9781587431654
Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness Reece, Erik 2006 Riverbed 9781594482366
The Man Who Created Paradise Logsdon, Gene 2001 Ohio University Press 9780821414071
The Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply Midriff, Ken 2005 St. Martin's Griffin 9780312325367
Missing Mountains Johansen, Kristin (ed.) 2005 Wind Publications 9781893239494
My Mercy Encompasses All: The Koran's Teachings on Compassion, Peace and Love Shah-Kazemi, Reza 2007 Counterpoint 9781593761448
Nature as Measure: The Selected Essays of Wes Jackson Jackson, Wes 2011 Counterpoint 9781582437002
NO FOOL NO FUN Zeitz, Gray 2012 Larkspur Press
The One-Straw Revolution Fukuoka, Masanobu 2009 NYRB Classics 9781590173138
The Pattern of a Man & Other Stories Still, James 2001 Gnomon Press 9780917788758
Pedestrian Photographs Merrill, Larry 2008 University of Rochester Press 9781580462907
The Prince's Speech: On the Future of Food HRH The Prince of Wales 2012 Rodale, Inc. 9781609614713
Ralph Eugene Meatyard Gassan, Arnold 1970 Gnomon Press ASIN: B001GECZNY
Round of a Country Year: A Farmer's Day Book Kline, David 2017 Counterpoint 9781619029248
Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible Davis, Ellen F. 2008 Cambridge University Press 9780521732239
Soil And Health: A Study of Organic Agriculture Howard, Albert 2007 University Press of Kentucky 9780813191713
Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries Cook, Mariana 2011 Damiani 9788862081696
That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets Raine, Kathleen 2017 Counterpoint 9781619029231
The Embattled Wilderness: The Natural and Human History of the Robinson Forest and the Fight for Its Future Reece, Erik and James J. Krupka 2013 University of Georgia Press 9780820341231
The Toilet Papers: Recycling Waste and Conserving Water Van der Ryn, Sim 1978 Ecological Design Press 9781890132583
To a Young Writer Stegner, Wallace 2009 Red Butte Press 9780874809985
Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture Smith, J. Russell 1987 Island Press 9780933280441
Waste Land: Meditations on a Ravaged Landscape Hanson, David T. 1997 Aperture 9780893817268
We All Live Downstream: Writings About Mountaintop Removal Howard, Jason 2009 MotesBooks 9781934894071
The Woodcuts of Harlan Hubbard Hubbard, Harlan 1994 University Press of Kentucky 9780813118796
Of the Land and the Spirit: The Essential Lord Northbourne on Ecology and Religion Christopher James; Joseph A. Fitzgerald, eds. 2008 World Wisdom 9781933316611

Musical settings and responses[edit]

Title Composer Year Performer Notes/sources
Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, Vol. 1 Andrew Maxfield and Wendell Berry 2013 Salt Lake Vocal Artists Disc 1 contains ten poems read by Wendell Berry and then sung. Out of print.[149]
Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, Vol 1 Eric Bibb 2013 Eric Bibb Disc 2 contains fifteen songs for solo voice and one instrumental. Out of print.[149]
Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, Vol 2: All the Earth Shall Sing Andrew Maxfield 2016 Salt Lake Vocal Artists and Wendell Berry This one-volume edition contains ten more poems and songs. Now out of print. A selection [150]
Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music Andrew Maxfield 2017 Salt Lake Vocal Artists and Wendell Berry This edition republishes Maxfield/Berry pieces from the earlier, now out of print, volumes.[151]
A Native Hill Gavin Bryars 2019 The Crossing A choral work in twelve parts, each a setting of a passage from the title essay originally published in The Long-Legged House (1969).[152] Recording [153]
Hymnody of Earth Malcolm Dalglish 1990 The American Boychoir; James Litton, Conductor, Glen Velez, percussion. Other recording with The Ooolites (1997). Performance at KET (PBS)[154]
Payne Hollow Shawn Jaeger 2014 Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program An opera based on "Sonata at Payne Hollow," a verse drama published in 2001. Video preview [155]
The Cold Pane Shawn Jaeger 2013 Written for Dawn Upshaw. Commissioned by Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra "A cycle of five songs on poems by Wendell Berry about death" [156]
Various Vocal and Choral Works based on Wendell Berry Poems Philip Orem Mr. Orem has used more than 90 of Berry's texts in his music. Composer's website [157]
Three Poems William Campbell 2014 St. Ambrose University "The Clearing Rests in Song and Shade," "I Go Among the Trees and Sit Still" and "All the Earth Shall Sing" from A Timbered Choir. Concert report [158]
Anniversary Song David Leisner 1996 Nina Faia, soprano, Anthony Zoeller, baritone, and Terry Decima, piano Recording at Song of America [159]
"And When I Rise" Wendy Tuck and Peter Amidon (arr.) 2020 Wendy Tuck and Peter Amidon (arr.) A setting of section VIII of "Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer" from Farming: A Hand Book (1970). Video [160]
"Leavings (The Wendell Berry Song)" Rachel and Stephen Mosley 2018 The Mosleys An adaptation of text from Sabbath Poems 2005 XVIII, XIX, 2006 I, II, III. Performance [161]
Settings of selected poems David Brunner "The Circles of Our Lives," "The Wheel,"[162] "We Clasp the Hands," "A Timbered Choir" "The Peace of Wild Things," "A Music in the Air"
"The Peace of Wild Things/dayblind" Crooked Still 2011 Crooked Still On the album Friends of Fall. Recording [163]
Seven Songs for Planet Earth Olli Kortekangas 2011 Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra Four of the movements are poems by Wendell Berry.[164]
"Desolation" and "The Wheel" Richard Carlson 2010 Richard Carlson Two songs on the album Thus Spake Zarathustra[165]
"Burley Coulter at the Bank" John McCutcheon 2018 John McCutcheon A song inspired by Berry's fictional character, on the album Ghost Light [166]
"Wendell Berry in the Fields at Night" Charlie Peacock 2018 Charlie Peacock An instrumental jazz piece from the album When Light Flashes Help Is on the Way[167]
"A Decent Man" James McMurtry 2021 James McMurtry A retelling of Berry's short story "Pray Without Ceasing." On the album The Horses and the Hounds[168]
"The Peace of Wild Things" Jake Runestad 2018 Stellenbosch University Chamber Choir: Martin Berger (conductor), Carmen van Renssen (piano) Performance[169]
"Great Trees" Mary Alice Amidon, Peter Amidon (arr.) 2020 Guilford (VT) Community Church UCC choir A setting of Sabbath Poem I from 1986. Performance[170]
The Great Trees Gwyneth Walker 2010 Commissioned and premiered by the Wolf River Singers, Germantown, TN. A setting of five poems (identified as "The Peace of Wild Things," "The Dark Around Us," "The Timbered Choir," "Silence," and "Steps of the City").[171]
"The Peace of Wild Things" Sean Ivory 2020 Performance [172] Publication [173]
"The Porch Over the River" Daniel Gilliam 2018 Chad Sloan (baritone), Carrie RavenStem (clarinetist) and Jessica Dorman (pianist) Uses the poem from Openings (1968). Performed 26 June 2019 at Crescent Hill Baptist Church reception for launch of Berry's What I Stand On (Library of America).[174] Score [175]
"The Magic Hour" and "Planting Trees" Andrew Peterson 2010 Andrew Peterson On the album Counting Stars, cites Berry's phrase "The Peace of Wild Things". "Planting Trees" is inspired by the poem of the same name in The Country of Marriage (1973).[176] Recording [177]
"The Wild Rose" Caroline Herring 2009 Caroline Herring On the album Golden Apples of the Sun, uses imagery from Berry's poem of same name from Entries (1994). Recording[178]
"Tanya's Edit" Alanna Boudreau 2021 Alanna Boudreau On the album Spanish Toast. Based on Berry's "Song" from The Country of Marriage (1973). Recording[179]
"The Bluebells in Kentucky" Mark Dvorak 2008 Mark Dvorak On the album Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me. Elements of the Port William stories are woven into the lyrics. Recording[180] Lyrics[181]
At Home Timothy C. Takach 2019 Premiered by The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists A setting of four poems by Berry and one by Julia Klatt Singer. Comments, texts and video at the composer's site[182]
"The Peace of Wild Things" Joan Szymko 2010 The Milwaukee Choral Artists Information at the composer's site[183] Performance[184]
"A Hard History of Love" and "1934" Matt Wheeler 2022 Matt Wheeler A response to two stories by Berry, "The Hurt Man" and "The Solemn Boy" [185]
This Rock We're On: Imaginary Letters Mike Holober 2023 Mike Holober & The Gotham Jazz Orchestra Uses text by Berry to evoke "a farmer’s commitment to soil and weather."[186]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wendell E. Berry biography". National Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "Academy members". American Academy of Arts and Letters. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Dayton Literary Peace Prize names distinguished achievement award recipient". Dayton Daily News. August 12, 2013. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  4. ^ Eblen, Tom (January 31, 2015). "At Hall of Fame ceremony, Wendell Berry laments 'public silence' on Ky. writers' work". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Berry, Wendell (2018). Wendell Berry: Port William Novels & Stories, The Civil War to World War II. New York: Library of America. ISBN 9781598535549.
  6. ^ Berry, Wendell. My Conversation with Gurney Norman. Archived from the original on July 11, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  7. ^ Menand, Louis (January 7, 2009). "Show or Tell: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Angyal, Andrew (1995). Wendell Berry. New York: Twayne. ISBN 0-8057-4628-5.
  9. ^ Davenport, Guy (1991). "Tom and Gene". Father Louie: Photographs of Thomas Merton by Ralph Eugene Meatyard. New York: Timken. ISBN 978-0943221090.
  10. ^ Both were published in The Long-Legged House. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1969 (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004). ISBN 9781593760137
  11. ^ "The Quivira Coalition's 6th Annual Conference" (PDF). p. 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2015.
  12. ^ Berry, Wendell. The Long-Legged House. Washington, D.C.: Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004. p.64
  13. ^ Berry, Wendell (2012). The Long-Legged House. Counterpoint (published 1969). p. 80.
  14. ^ Wendell, Berry (2019). Wendell Berry: Essays 1969-1990. New York, NY: Library of America. p. 776. ISBN 9781598536065.
  15. ^ Wendell Berry vs. Earl Butz debate 1977, retrieved January 28, 2023
  16. ^ Wurtz, Noah (January 23, 2023). "Butz's Law of Economics". Agrarian Trust. Retrieved January 28, 2023.
  17. ^ Berry, Wendell. The Gift of Good Land. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2009. pp.161–170
  18. ^ "The National Security Strategy 2002". archives.gov. November 4, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  19. ^ Berry, Wendell. "A Citizen's Response to the National Security Strategy". Orion. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Jackson, Wes; Berry, Wendell (January 5, 2009). "A 50-Year Farm Bill". The New York Times.
  21. ^ "Q&A: Changing Farming's Uncertain Future". The Washington Post. July 22, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  22. ^ "Wendell Berry Makes Public Statement on the Death Penalty". Danzig U.S.A. January 29, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  23. ^ "Kentucky writers urge moratorium on death penalty". Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. November 25, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  24. ^ "Climate Activists Block Gates to D.C. Coal Plant". Democracy Now!. March 3, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  25. ^ "Wendell Berry on NAIS". July 10, 2009. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  26. ^ Michaelis, Kristen. "Wendell Berry Picks Jail Over NAIS". Food Renegade. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  27. ^ Shannon, Ronica (November 7, 2009). "Local group joins protest of coal-burning power plant". Richmond Register. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  28. ^ Melnykovych, Andrew (February 28, 2011). "PSC approves EKPC request to cancel power plant". Commonwealth of Kentucky. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  29. ^ Truman, Cheryl (June 23, 2010). "Wendell Berry pulling his personal papers from UK". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  30. ^ Truman, Cheryl (August 15, 2012). "Author Wendell Berry donates papers to Kentucky Historical Society". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  31. ^ Hale, Jon (September 29, 2010). "Environmentalists and industry supporters turn out for Louisville coal ash hearing". The Rural Blog. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  32. ^ "Opponents of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Occupy Kentucky Governor's Office". Democracy Now!. February 14, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  33. ^ Cheves, John (February 15, 2011). "Sit-in at Kentucky governor's office ends with 'I Love Mountains' rally". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  34. ^ "The Berry Center". berrycenter.org. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  35. ^ "Some saw a University of Kentucky mural as racially offensive. Here's the school's solution. - The Washington Post". The Washington Post.
  36. ^ "Wendell Berry sues to block removal of disputed Kentucky mural". USA Today.
  37. ^ "Planning commission recommends Angel's Envy rezoning, Bourbon Trail development". Henry County Local. August 12, 2022.
  38. ^ "Wendell Berry: Good Henry Co. farmland should not be sacrificed to bourbon tourism". Lexington Herald-Leader.
  39. ^ Olmstead, Gracy (October 1, 2018). "Opinion | Wendell Berry's Right Kind of Farming". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  40. ^ "Wendell Berry's Criteria for Appropriate Technology". Turning the Tide. October 12, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  41. ^ "Conserving Communities - Wendell Berry". home.btconnect.com. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  42. ^ "For Love of Place: Reflections of an Agrarian Sage | Wendell Berry". greattransition.org. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  43. ^ "The Pleasures of Eating – Wendell Berry". The Contrary Farmer. December 10, 2009. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  44. ^ "Orion Magazine | Renewing Husbandry". Orion Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  45. ^ "Wendell Berry And Preparing Students For "Good Work"". TeachThought. August 5, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  46. ^ "Orion Magazine | The Idea of a Local Economy". Orion Magazine. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  47. ^ Berry, Wendell. Life Is a Miracle. https://www.communio-icr.com/files/berry27-1pdf.pdf
  48. ^ "Wendell Berry's Community". Crisis Magazine. January 1, 2000. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  49. ^ "Orion Magazine | The Agrarian Standard". Orion Magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  50. ^ Burleigh, Anne Husted. "Wendell Berry's Community". catholiceducation.org. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  51. ^ Halvorson, Odin (July 26, 2018). "One World, One People: Ruminating on Wendell Berry". Odin Halvorson. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  52. ^ "Wendell Berry on the Industrialization of Agriculture". faculty.rsu.edu. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  53. ^ "Wendell Berry on Ignorance". Circe Institute. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  54. ^ Sutterfield, Ragan (March 20, 2017). "What Can Wendell Berry Teach Us about Humility?". Franciscan Media. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  55. ^ "Digging In". The Sun Magazine. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  56. ^ Berry, Wendell (June 13, 2013). "The Commerce of Violence". Progressive.org. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  57. ^ "Farmer, activist, economist, seer: why Wendell Berry is the modern-day Thoreau". newstatesman.com. January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  58. ^ "Farming and the Global Economy - Wendell Berry". tipiglen.co.uk. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  59. ^ Berry, Wendell; Stephenson, Wen (March 23, 2015). "The Gospel According to Wendell Berry". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  60. ^ Steele, Melanie (April 28, 2015). "Agricultural Philosophy: Wendell Berry". Indie Farmer. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  61. ^ Berry, Wendell (2018). "Chronology". In Shoemaker, Jack (ed.). Port William Novels and Stories: The Civil War to World War II. New York, NY: Library of America. p. 997. ISBN 9781598535549.
  62. ^ Britton-Purdy, Jedediah (September 9, 2019). "Wendell Berry's Lifelong Dissent". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  63. ^ Berry, Wendell (1981). The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural. San Francisco: North Point. ISBN 0-86547-052-9.
  64. ^ Orr, David (April 16, 2008). "The designer's challenge". eoearth.org. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  65. ^ Luoni, Stephen (December 21, 2005). "Solving for Pattern: Development of Place-Building Design Models". DesignIntelligence. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
  66. ^ "The Brian Lehrer Show". WNYC.org. October 17, 2013. I'm not a Baptist in any formal way. I go to the Baptist church, where my wife plays the piano, on days of bad weather. On days of good weather, I ramble off into the woods somewhere. I am a person who takes the Gospel seriously, but I have had trouble conforming my thoughts to a denomination.
  67. ^ Berry, Wendell (1993). "Christianity and the Survival of Creation". Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 9780679423942.
  68. ^ "Christianity Today, 15 November 2006 "Imagining a Different Way to Live"". November 15, 2006. The church and all of our institutions have failed to oppose the destruction of the world.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Baker, Jack and Jeffrey Bilbro, ed. Telling the Stories Right: Wendell Berry's Imagination of Port William. Eugene, OR: Front Porch Republic Books, 2018.
  • Baker, Jack and Jeffrey Bilbro. Wendell Berry and Higher Education: Cultivating Virtues of Place. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2017.
  • Bilbro, Jeffrey. Virtues of Renewal: Wendell Berry's Sustainable Forms. Lexington, University Press of Kentucky, 2019.
  • Bilbro, Jeffrey. "The Way of Love: Berry's Vision of Work in the Kingdom of God," in Loving God's Wildness: The Christian Roots of Ecological Ethics in American Literature. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015. 138–178.
  • Bonzo, J. Matthew and Michael R. Stevens. Wendell Berry and the Cultivation of Life: A Reader's Guide. Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2008.
  • Goodrich, Janet. The Unforeseen Self in the Works of Wendell Berry. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001.
  • Heinzelman, Kurt (1980), Indigenous Art: The Poetry of Wendell Berry, in Bold, Christine, (ed.), Cencrastus No. 2, Spring 1980, pp. 34 – 37, ISSN 0264-0856
  • Merchant, Paul, ed. Wendell Berry (American Authors Series). Lewiston, Idaho: Confluence, 1991.
  • Mitchell, Mark and Nathan Schlueter. The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011.
  • Oehlschlaeger, Fritz. The Achievement of Wendell Berry: The Hard History of Love. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2011.
  • Peters, Jason, ed. Wendell Berry: Life and Work. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007.
  • Shuman, Joel James and Owens, L. Roger (eds). Wendell Berry and Religion: Heaven's Earthly Life. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009.
  • Smith, Kimberly K. Wendell Berry and the Agrarian Tradition: A Common Grace. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.
  • Sutterfield, Ragan. Wendell Berry and the Given Life. Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2017.
  • Wiebe, Joseph R. The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017

External links[edit]