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Mountain Heroes: Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry: My Mountain Story

Wendell Berry is the author of more than 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the National Humanities Medal, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Vachel Lindsay Prize from Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, the Emily Clark Balch Prize from The Virginia Quarterly Review, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award, a Lannan Foundation Award for Non-Fiction, Membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the Ingersoll Foundation's T. S. Eliot Award, the John Hay Award, the Lyndhurst Prize, and the Aitken-Taylor Award for Poetry from The Sewanee Review. This year the National Endowment for the Humanities selected him as its 2012 Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. Berry was born in Henry County and has farmed a hillside in his native Henry County, Kentucky, for more than 40 years. He has been a tireless advocate for the preservation of family farms and small farms in an age of industrial agriculture and a longtime active opponent of mountaintop removal mining.

The following is a message from Wendell Berry:

"My name is Wendell Berry. I live beside the Kentucky River in Henry County, Kentucky. My connection to mountaintop removal mining is this river, and I know that surface mining in the mountains of Kentucky damages the river. I'm glad to stand with my friends and heroes from eastern Kentucky — Teri Blanton, Mickey McCoy, and others — in defense of the mountains and in defense of this river."