Tuesday, March 01, 2011

President Obama Will Honor Wendell Berry With 2010 National Humanities Medal

White House announces full list of honorees for 2010 National Medals of Arts and Humanities...
UPDATE: A full post about the ceremony IS HERE
At the White House on Wednesday afternoon, President Obama will award the 2010 National Humanities Medal and 2010 National Medal of Arts to twenty distinguished Americans, including Meryl Streep, James Taylor, Philip Roth, Quincy Jones, Harper Lee, and Joyce Carol Oates. Among the recipients for the National Humanities Medal is world renowned poet, essayist, economist and philosopher Wendell Berry, a fifth generation family farmer from Henry County, Kentucky. (Above: Berry at the White House in June of 2009, when he toured the Kitchen Garden)

Berry, 76, is the author of more than forty books, and one of America's foremost conservationists and advocates for a sustainable food system. Much of the contemporary food movement is built upon his body of work.

There will be a livestream of the ceremony at 1:45 PM EST, at www.WhiteHouse.gov/Live.

Berry's deeply Christian body of work ranges from spiritual contemplations on farming and the agrarian economy to fiction and poetry, essays and non-fiction. He is an enlightened chronicler of rural life, and has minutely detailed how the personal becomes very political in the framework of communities. Two of Berry's books have attained Biblical status for citizens in America's food movement: The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, published in 1977, and The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural, published in 1981. His most recent books continue the same themes, decades on: What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth, published in 2010, and Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food, published in 2009.

Among his many awards, Berry has been honored with Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, the T.S. Eliot Award, the John Hay Award, and he is the 2009 honoree for the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The 2010 National Humanities Medal honorees: Daniel Aaron, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, Daniel Aaron, Bernard Bailyn, Jacques Barzun, Roberto González Echevarría, Gordon Wood, and Arnold Rampersad.

The 2010 National Medal of Arts honorees: James Taylor, Meryl Streep, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Robert Brustein, Mark di Suvero, Van Cliburn, Harper Lee, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Van Cliburn.

*Photo: Michael Temchine/Washington Post