Wendell Berry Fills the House and Enters the Hall of Fame, Working, Challenging, Encouraging On His Way

I am grateful today for the life and example of Wendell Berry. Last night Wendell came to the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning to become the first living writer inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Wendell Berry at center.  From back left, photographer and artist Guy Mendes in vest, Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen in red. From back right, Kentucky Monthly editor and publisher Steve Vest, Kentucky Arts Council director Lori Meadows, Lynn Luallen.

I have reasons and intentions to be grateful for Wendell—and for the marvelous Carnegie Center—every day. But one important feature stood out last night. Wendell, who could have simply said a graceful "Thank you," instead came with a carefully prepared and delivered challenge to the writing royalty of Kentucky who packed every nook of the building: be in conversation with each other and with the public about this Commonwealth. Fill a present vacuum by creating public dialogue if you want your work to make more of a difference.

We heard him. We'll see. Thank you, Wendell Berry, and thank you, Carnegie Center.

Rona RobertsComment