To Go in the Dark With a Light

Flowers For Socrates

Wendell Berry (1934− ) American essayist, novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer. He was born in Henry County, Kentucky, the oldest of four children. Both his parents came from families that had farmed the area for at least five generations. In 1958, he won a fellowship to Stanford University’s creative writing program, studying under Wallace Stegner in a seminar that included Larry McMurtry, Robert Stone, Ernest Gaines, Tillie Olsen, and Ken Kesey. Berry published his first novel, Nathan Coulter, in 1960. He has gone on to write more novels, essay collections, and several books of poetry. Berry has long been an opponent of war, nuclear power, and the increasing human plundering of the planet’s natural resources. He has been honored with dozens of awards, including the National Humanities Medal in 2010, and the 2016 Sidney Lanier Prize.

To read Wendell Berry’s poem, To Know the Dark.

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