Author: Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry’s (b. 1934) prolific writing career has centered around his firmly held agrarian values, including sustainable agriculture and husbandry. Berry was raised in Henry County, Kentucky by a tobacco farming family with long ties to the community. Berry was a strong writer growing up, and earned his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky. Berry published his first novel, Nathan Coulter, at the age of 36, and has written more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays since. Many of Berry’s novels center around the fictional agrarian small town of Port William, Kentucky. Berry has enjoyed a noteworthy academic career as a professor at the University of Kentucky, Stanford University, and Georgetown University, among others. He married Tanya Amyx in 1957.

Independence Day

Wendell Berry

Not everyone celebrates Independence Day with parades, barbecues, and fireworks, or with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. In this poem, the prolific author, cultural critic, and farmer Wendell Berry (b. 1934) celebrates the holiday in the woods.

Our Christmas Tree

Wendell Berry
Like Robert Frost’s “Christmas Trees,” this 1996 poem by Wendell Berry (b. 1934) questions the American practice of melding commercial activity and spiritual observance in the celebration of Christmas.

The Man Born to Farming

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry was a professor at New York University before returning to his native Kentucky to live and teach. In this poem, Berry describes the farmer, whose life is divided into the same seasons as the crops he grows.