Wendell Berry Poems

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Wendell Berry
Wendell Berry (born August 5, 1934, Henry County, Kentucky) is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. He is also an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Berry is the first of four children born to John Berry, a lawyer and tobacco farmer in Henry County, and Virginia Berry. The families of both of his parents have farmed in Henry County for at least five generations. Berry attended secondary school at Millersburg Military Institute, then earned a B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Kentucky. In 1957, he completed his M.A. and married Tanya Amyx. In 1958, he attended Stanford University's creative writing program thanks to a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, studying under Stegner in a seminar that included Larry McMurtry, Edward Abbey, and Ken Kesey. In April 1960, Berry's first novel, Nathan Coulter, was published. In 1961, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship took Berry and his family to Italy and France, where he came to know Wallace Fowlie, professor of French at Duke University. From 1962 to 1964, he taught English at New York University's University College in the Bronx. In 1964, he began teaching creative writing at the University of Kentucky, from which he resigned in 1977. During this time in Lexington, he came to know author Guy Davenport, as well as author Thomas Merton and photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard. In 1965, Berry moved to a farm he had purchased, Lane's Landing, and began growing tobacco, corn and small grains on what eventually grew into a 125-acre homestead. Lane's Landing is near Port Royal, Kentucky, in northeastern Kentucky, and his parents' birthplaces, and is on the banks of the Kentucky River, not far from where it flows into the Ohio River. Berry has farmed, resided, and written at Lane's Landing down to the present day. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he edited and wrote for the Rodale Press, including its publications Organic Gardening and Farming and The New Farm. From 1987 to 1993, he returned to the English Department of the University of Kentucky. Berry has written at least twenty-five books (or chapbooks) of poems, sixteen volumes of essays, and eleven 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.

poem: untitled
To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum
on the day of the burial of Yitzak Rab... [read poem]
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