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1982 Speaker - Wendell E. Berry

Kentucky Author

Wendell Berry was born in Henry County, Kentucky, in 1934. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1956 and continued on to complete a master's degree in 1957. In 1958, he received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

Berry has taught at Stanford University, Georgetown College, New York University, the University of Cincinnati, and Bucknell University. He taught at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky from 1964 - 1977, and again from 1987 - 1993.

The author of eleven works of fiction, fourteen books of poetry, and sixteen works of nonfiction. Some of his most notable writing includes

  • Hannah Coulter,
  • That Distant Land and
  • Citizenship Papers.

Wendell Berry has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including

  • a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1962),
  • the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry (1962),
  • a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1965),
  • a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing (1971),
  • the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review (1974),
  • the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award (1987),
  • a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction (1989),
  • Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers (1991),
  • the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award (1994),
  • the John Hay Award (1997),
  • the Lyndhurst Prize (1997), and
  • the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review (1998).

He lives and works with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal (Henry County), Kentucky.