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Getting acquainted with local flora and fauna is the perfect way to begin to understand the wonder of nature. The natural environment of Southern Appalachia, with habitats that span the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau, is one of the most biodiverse on earth. A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia-a hybrid literary and natural history anthology-showcases sixty of the many species indigenous to the region. Ecologically, culturally, and artistically, Southern Appalachia is rich in paradox and stereotype-defying complexity. Its species range from the iconic and inveterate-such as the speckled trout, pileated woodpecker, copperhead, and black bear-to the elusive and endangered-such as the American chestnut, Carolina gorge moss, chucky madtom, and lampshade spider. The anthology brings together art and science to help the reader experience this immense ecological wealth. Stunning images by seven Southern Appalachian artists and conversationally written natural history information complement contemporary poems from writers such as Ellen Bryant Voigt, Wendell Berry, Janisse Ray, Sean Hill, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Deborah A. Miranda, Ron Rash, and Mary Oliver. Their insights illuminate the wonders of the mountain South, fostering intimate connections. The guide is an invitation to get to know Appalachia in the broadest, most poetic sense.
Jayber Crow, born in Goforth, Kentucky, orphaned at age ten, began his search as a "pre-ministerial student" at Pigeonville College. There, freedom met with new burdens and a young man needed more than a mirror to find himself. But the beginning of that finding was a short conversation with "Old Grit," his profound professor of New Testament Greek. "You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out¬ perhaps a little at a time." "And how long is that going to take?" "I don't know. As long as you live, perhaps." "That could be a long time." "I will tell you a further mystery," he said. "It may take longer."Eventually, after the flood of 1937, Jayber becomes the barber of the small community of Port William, Kentucky. From behind that barber chair he lives out the questions that drove him from seminary and begins to accept the gifts of community that enclose his answers. The chair gives him a perfect perch from which to listen, to talk, and to see, as life spends itself all around. In this novel full of remarkable characters, he tells his story that becomes the story of his town and its transcendent membership.
Kathleen Raine was one of the greatest British poets of the last century. Raised in a deeply literary and spiritual household, she went on to study at Cambridge where she met Jacob Bronowski, William Empson, and Malcolm Lowry. A dedicated Neoplatonist, she studied and presented the works of Thomas Taylor, and wrote seminal books on William Blake, including the monumental Blake and Tradition, and several highly praised books about W. B. Yeats. She was a co-founder of The Temenos Academy of Integral Studies, and its journal, Temenos, dedicated to "the sacred springs of life, which are the imagination and the heart". For our new selection, That Wondrous Pattern: Essays on Poetry and Poets, Raine's colleague and friend Brian Keeble offers sixteen essays that range from "The Inner Journey of the Poet" and "What is Man?" to essays on Blake, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, and several others. The centerpiece, "What is the Use of Poetry?" is a rigorous defense of the great art. Keeble himself contributes a fascinating introduction to Raine's work, and Wendell Berry, himself a colleague and friend of Kathleen Raine, offers a preface. All who spend time in the presence of this wonderful writer will leave newly entranced with the art and use of the beautiful, and convinced that "it is only in moments when we transcend ourselves that we can know anything of value."
That Distant Land includes twenty-three stories from Wendell Berry's Port William membership. Arranged in their fictional chronology, the book shines forth as a single sustained work, not simply an anthology. It reveals Wendell Berry as a literary master capable of managing an imaginative integrity over decades of writing with a multitude of characters followed over several generations. Combining The Wild Birds (1985), Fidelity (1992), and Watch With Me (1994), and including four never-before-collected stories and a map of Port William, this book offers rest for the weary, hope for the beleaguered, and strength for the rest of us.
Though Easter (like Christmas) is often trivialized by the culture at large, it is still the high point of the religious calendar for millions of people around the world. And for most of them, there can be no Easter without Lent, the season that leads up to it. A time for self-denial, soul-searching, and -spiritual preparation, Lent is traditionally observed by daily reading and reflection. This collection will satisfy the growing hunger for meaningful and accessible devotions. Culled from the wealth of twenty centuries, the selections in Bread and Wine are ecumenical in scope, and represent the best classic and contemporary Christian writers. Includes more than seventy Lenten and Easter readings by Alexander Stuart Baillie, Alfred Kazin, Alister E. McGrath, Amy Carmichael, Barbara Brown Taylor, Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, Blaise Pascal, Brennan Manning, C. S. Lewis, Christina Rossetti, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Clarence Jordan, Dag Hammarskjold, Dale Aukerman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Dorothee Soelle, Dorothy Day, Dorothy Sayers, Dylan Thomas, E. Stanley Jones, Eberhard Arnold, Edith Stein, Edna Hong, Emil Brunner, Ernesto Cardenal, Fleming Rutledge, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Frederick Buechner, Fyodor Dostoevsky, G. K. Chesterton, Geoffrey Hill, George MacDonald, Henri Nouwen, Henry Drummond, Howard Hageman, J. Heinrich Arnold, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Johann Christoph Arnold, John Dear, John Donne, John Howard Yoder, John Masefield, John Stott, John Updike, Joyce Hollyday, Jurgen Moltmann, Kahlil Gibran, Karl Barth, Kathleen Norris, Leo Tolstoy, Madeleine L Engle, Malcolm Muggeridge, Martin Luther, Meister Eckhart, Morton T. Kelsey, Mother Teresa, N. T. Wright, Oscar Wilde, Oswald Chambers, Paul Tillich, Peter Kreeft, Philip Berrigan, Philip Yancey, Romano Guardini, Sadhu Sundar Singh, Saint Augustine, Simone Weil, Soren Kierkegaard, Thomas a Kempis, Thomas Howard, Thomas Merton, Toyohiko Kagawa, Walter J. Ciszek, Walter Wangerin, Watchman Nee, Wendell Berry and William Willimon."
Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky is one of our most important natural landscapes-and one of the most threatened. Covering fourteen thousand acres of some of the most diverse forest region in temperate North America, it is a haven of biological richness within an ever-expanding desert created by mountaintop removal mining. Written by two people with deep knowledge of Robinson Forest, The Embattled Wilderness engagingly portrays this singular place as it persuasively appeals for its protection. The land comprising Robinson Forest was given to the University of Kentucky in 1923 after it had been clear-cut of old-growth timber. Over decades, the forest has regrown, and its remarkable ecosystem has supported both teaching and research. But in the recent past, as tuition has risen and state support has faltered, the university has considered selling logging and mining rights to parcels of the forest, leading to a student-led protest movement and a variety of other responses. In The Embattled Wilderness Erik Reece, an environmental writer, and James J. Krupa, a naturalist and evolutionary biologist, alternate chapters on the cultural and natural history of the place. While Reece outlines the threats to the forest and leads us to new ways of thinking about its value, Krupa assembles an engaging record of the woodrats and darters, lichens and maples, centipedes and salamanders that make up the forest's ecosystem. It is a readable yet rigorous, passionate yet reasoned summation of what can be found, or lost, in Robinson Forest and other irreplaceable places.
Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky is one of our most important
natural landscapes--and one of the most threatened. Covering
fourteen thousand acres of some of the most diverse forest region
in temperate North America, it is a haven of biological richness
within an ever-expanding desert created by mountaintop removal
mining. Written by two people with deep knowledge of Robinson
Forest, "The Embattled Wilderness" engagingly portrays this
singular place as it persuasively appeals for its protection.
'Do I wish to keep up with the times? No. My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can' The great American poet, novelist and environmental activist argues for a life lived slowly. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
'He is unlike anybody else writing today ... After Donald Trump's election, we urgently need to rediscover the best of radical America. An essential part of that story is Wendell Berry. Few of us can live, or even aspire to, his kind of life. But nobody can risk ignoring him' Andrew Marr 'Wendell Berry is the most important writer and thinker that you have (probably) never heard of. He is an American sage' James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's Life Wendell Berry is 'something of an anachronism'. He began his life as the old times and the last of the old-time people were dying out, and continues to this day in the old ways: a team of work horses and a pencil are his preferred working tools. The writings gathered in The World-Ending Fire are the unique product of a life spent farming the fields of rural Kentucky with mules and horses, and of the rich, intimate knowledge of the land cultivated by this work. These are essays written in defiance of the false call to progress, and in defence of the local landscapes that provide our cultural heritage, our history, our home. In a time when our relationship to the natural world is ruled by the violence and greed of unbridled consumerism, Wendell Berry speaks out to defend the land we live on. With grace and conviction, he shows that we simply cannot afford to succumb to the mass-produced madness that drives our global economy. The natural world will not withstand it. Yet he also shares with us a vision of consolation and of hope. We may be locked in an uneven struggle, but we can and must begin to treat our land, our neighbours, and ourselves with respect and care. We must, as Berry urges, abandon arrogance and stand in awe.
More than thirty-five years ago, Wendell Berry began spending his sabbaths outdoors, when the weather allowed, walking and wandering around familiar territory, seeking a deep intimacy only time could provide. These walks sometimes yielded poems. Each year since, he has completed a series of these poems dated by the year of its composition. This new sequence provides a virtual syllabus for all of Berry's cultural and agricultural work in concentrated form. Many of these poems, including a sequence at mid-year of 2014, were written on a small porch in the woods, a place of stillness and reflection, a vantage point "of the one / life of the forest composed / of uncountable lives in countless / years, each life coherent itself within / the coherence, the great composure, of all." Recently Berry has been reflecting on more than a half century of reading, to discover and to delight in the poetical, spiritual, and cultural roots of his work. In The Presence of Nature in the Natural World, Berry's survey begins with Alan of Lille's twelfth-century work, The Plaint of Nature. The from the Bible through Chaucer, from Milton to Pope, from Wordsworth to the moderns, Berry's close reading is exhilarating. Moving from the canon of poetry to the sayings and texts found in agricultutre and science, closely presented, we gain new appreciation for the complexity of the issues faced in the twenty-first century by the struggling community of humans on earth. With this long essay appended to these new Sabbath Poems, the result is an unusual book of depth and engagement. A new collection of Wendall Berry poems is always an occasion for celebration, and this eccentric gatheirng is especially so.
I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. The poems of Wendell Berry invite us to stop, to think, to see the world around us, and to savour what is good. Here are consoling verses of hope and of healing; short, simple meditations on love, death, friendship, memory and belonging; luminous hymns to the land, the cycles of nature and the seasons as they ebb and flow. Here is the peace of wild things.
Wendell Berry proposes, and earnestly hopes, that people will learn
once more to care for their local communities, and so begin a
restoration that might spread over our entire nation and beyond.
The renewed development of local economies would help preserve
rural diversity despite the burgeoning global economy that
threatens to homogenize and compromise communities all over the
For nearly thirty-five years, Wendell Berry has been at work on a
series of poems occasioned by his solitary Sunday walks around his
farm in Kentucky. From riverfront and meadows, to grass fields and
woodlots, every inch of this hillside farm lives in these poems, as
do the poet's constant companions of memory and occasion, family
and animals, who have with Berry created his Home Place with love
"Here is a human being speaking with calm and sanity out of the
wilderness. We would do well to hear him."--The Washington Post
Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today's agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its cultural context and away from families. As a result, we as a nation are more estranged from the land¬ from the intimate knowledge, love, and care of it.Sadly, his arguments and observations are more relevant than ever. We continue to suffer loss of community, the devaluation of human work, and the destruction of nature under an economic system dedicated to the mechanistic pursuit of products and profits. Although ¬ this book has not had the happy fate of being proved wrong," Berry writes, there are good people working ¬ to make something comely and enduring of our life on this earth." Wendell Berry is one of those people, writing and working, as ever, with passion, eloquence, and conviction.
Wendell Berry identifies himself as both ¬ a farmer of sorts and an artist of sorts," which he deftly illustrates in the scope of these 22 essays. Ranging from America's insatiable consumerism and household economies to literary subjects and America's attitude toward waste, Berry gracefully navigates from one topic to the next. He speaks candidly about the ills plaguing America and the growing gap between people and the land. Despite the somber nature of these essays, Berry's voice and prose provide an underlying sense of faith and hope. He frames his reflections with poetic responsibility, standing up as a firm believer in the power of the human race not only to fix its past mistakes but to build a future that will provide a better life for all.
Sabbath is one day a week when we should rest from our otherwise harried lives, right? In "Living the Sabbath," Norman Wirzba leads us to a much more holistic and rewarding understanding of Sabbath-keeping. Wirzba shows how Sabbath is ultimately about delight in the goodness that God has made--in everything we do, every day of the week. With practical examples, Wirzba unpacks what that means for our daily lives at work, in our homes, in our economies, in school, in our treatment of creation, and in church. This book will appeal to clergy and laypeople alike and to all who are seeking ways to discover the transformative power of Sabbath in their lives today.
"My work has been motivated," Wendell Berry has written, "by a desire to make myself responsibly at home in this world and in my native and chosen place." In "Home Economics," a collection of fourteen essays, Berry explores this process and continues to discuss what it means to make oneself "responsibly at home." His title reminds us that the very root of economics is stewardship, household management. To paraphrase Confucius, a healthy planet is made up of healthy nations that are simply healthy communities sharing common ground, and communities are gatherings of households. A measure of the health of the planet is economics--the health of its households. Any process of destruction or healing must begin at home. Berry speaks of the necessary coherence of the "Great Economy," as he argues for clarity in our lives, our conceptions, and our communications. To live is not to pass time, but to "spend "time.Whether as critic or as champion, Wendell Berry offers careful insights into our personal and national situation in a prose that is ringing and clear.
No one writes like Wendell Berry. Whether essay, novel, story, or
poem, his inimitable voice rings true, as natural as the land he
has farmed in Kentucky for over forty years.
The rhythms of this novel are the rhythms of the land. A Place on Earth resonates with variations played on themes of change; looping transitions from war into peace, winter into spring, browning flood destruction into greening fields, absence into presence, lost into found. This brings the revised 1983 edition back into print, the next book in our program to put all of Wendell Berry's fiction into print in revised and corrected uniform editions.
With the expected grace of Wendell Berry comes The Hidden Wound, an essay about racism and the damage it has done to the identity of our country. Through Berry's personal experience, he explains how remaining passive in the face of the struggle of racism further corrodes America's potential. In a quiet and observant manner, Berry opens up about how his attempt to discuss racism is rooted in the hope that someday the historical wound will begin to heal.
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