Wendell Berry Wins Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award

August 15, 2013

Wendell Berry

The Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, presented by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, was given to author, poet, and essayist Wendell Berry. The award, which carries a $10,000 stipend, is named after the late US Diplomat responsible for brokering the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia and aims to acknowledge literature’s ability to promote peace and understanding. Sharon Rub, founder and co-chairwoman of the foundation said, “In a career spanning more than half a century, Wendell Berry has used poetry, fiction and essays to offer a consistent, timely and timeless reminder that we must live in harmony with the Earth in order to live in harmony with each other.”

Berry, 79, has authored over fifty works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including, among his collection of essays, titles such as A Place on Earth (1967), The Unsettling of America (1977), Citizenship Papers (2003), and A Place in Time (2012). He has also written various novels set in a small community named Port William. An elected member of the Fellowship of Southern writers, his is also a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2011 he was presented the National Humanities Medal for achievements as a poet, novelist, farmer, and conservationist by President Barack Obama.

A full-time farmer, Berry keeps a garden and raises sheep with his wife in a predominately technology-free environment in their central Kentucky home, a lifestyle Berry accredits with keeping him grounded in the problems he writes about. Berry said of his work, “I have, as a storyteller and somewhat as a poet, been stuck with the story of a decline of rural life in all its aspects during my lifetime. I and so I’ve told that story, and I suppose it has a potential instructiveness.”

Source: The Associated Press
Photo Credit: Tom Eblen
Link: http://www.daytonliterarypeaceprize.org/2013-holbrooke.htm

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