Wendell Berry receives humanities medal from Obama
Today at the excellent Obama Foodorama blog:
President Obama awarded the 2010 National Humanities Medal to Wendell Berry during an East Room ceremony. Berry, 76, was honored “for his achievements as a poet, novelist, farmer, and conservationist.”
Berry is a fifth generation family farmer from Kentucky, and a world renowned author of more than forty books that include poetry, essays, novels, as well as pathbreaking economic/philosophical examinations of rural communities. His work urges the use of citizen power to change both communities and the corporations that have dominance in America, a tenet First Lady Michelle Obama has based the Let’s Move! campaign on.
Among the other honorees were jazz great Sonny Rollins, authors Joyce Carol Oates, Harper Lee, and Philip Roth, renowned pianist Van Cliburn, singer-composer James Taylor, musician-composer-producer Quincy Jones, sculptor Mark di Suvero and poet Donald Hall.
The Louisville, KY Courier-Journal adds:
Berry is a well-known activist in his home state. Just last month, for example, he participated in a three-day protest in the state Capitol to protest strip mining practices.
For decades he has been opposing not only surface mining but also industrialized agriculture and poor land use. In his 1977 book “The Unsettling of America,” he wrote: “It is wrong to think that bodily health is compatible with spiritual confusion or cultural disorder, or with polluted air and water or impoverished soil.”