Campus News

Summer Reading Focuses on Work of Wendell Berry  printer  

Sewanee's first year students will arrive on campus this month ready to discuss the works of Wendell Berry during the orientation program, which begins on the 21st.

Wendell Berry, who has been called the prophet of rural America, by the New York Times, was on Sewanee's campus in April as part of the "How, Then, Shall We Live?" lecture series. His work will serve as the focal point for campus-wide discussions, and should help to foster a dialogue among the incoming first year students about issues of mutual concern. Students have already submitted short essays on the Berry work they chose to read. These essays will serve as the start of a dialogue during orientation.

Berry was born in 1934, in Henry County, Kentucky, where he now lives and farms 125 acres that has been in his family since the early 1800s. Central to his writing is his defense of the spiritual and ethical values embedded in traditional rural life and his sustained critique of global capitalism and consumerism. True to his principles, he plows his land with draft horses and refuses to write with a computer.

Former professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Berry is winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship, the T.S. Eliot Award, the National Institute and Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and the Sewanee Review's Aiken Taylor Award.