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New Collected Poems
Synopses & Reviews
"'What must a man do to be at home in the world?' Berry asks early in this big, thick new volume: he has found decades of international fame by providing, in poems, fiction, memoirs, and essays, his clear and consistent answers. Widely admired as a writer and as an environmental advocate since the 1960s, Berry continues to operate the Kentucky farm where his father and grandfather lived; he recommends, always, rural self-reliance, devoted to his own green place, to his wife and their household, and to his version of Christian belief. Irregular free verse connects Berry to William Carlos Williams, while ringing credos suggest William Stafford or Mary Oliver: 'the seed doesn't swell/ in its husk by reason, but loves/ itself, obeys light which is/ its own thought.' This volume makes Berry's first Collected since 1987 and draws on volumes up through Leavings (2010); standout new efforts include a long elegy for Berry's father and a set of haiku-sized poems. Benedictions and prayers coexist with manifestos and georgic, the ancient genre of poems about rural hard work. His antiwar sentiment dates from the Vietnam era and modulates into heartfelt attacks on modernity, on 'dire machines that run/ by burning the world's body and/ its breath.' Yet the dominant notes are appreciation and praise: for his wife, for his sense of wisdom, for 'the pastures deep in clover and grass,/ enough and more than enough.'" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Collected Poems:
"[Berry's poems] shine with a gentle wisdom of a craftsman who has thought deeply about the paradoxical strangeness and wonder of life." The Christian Science Monitor
"Wendell Berry is one of those rare individuals who speaks to us always of responsibility, of the individual cultivation of an active and aware participation in the arts of life, be they those of composing a poem, preparing a hill for planting, raising a family, working for the good of oneself and ones neighbors, loving." The Bloomsbury Review
Praise for Entries:
"If you're wondering where all the sincerity has gone in contemporary poetry, you may rest assured that Wendell Berry has it." Bookpress
"Disarming in its apparent simplicity and powerful in its lack of guile." San Marcos Daily Record
Praise for Given:
"For those who believe that life and the world are gifts, this is an invaluable book." Booklist
Praise for Leavings:
"[Berrys] sage mind and poetic skills combine to skewer political arrogance, savage commercial folly, muse on growing old and lament a good dogs death. Mindful of time and earth, of joy and love, Berry calls us to the hard work of a hope and peace and gratitude so incarnate that they rest on the ground underfoot." Christian Century
In Wendell Berry's upcoming The New Collected Poems, the poet revisits for the first time his immensely popular Collected Poems, which The New York Times Book Review described as "a straight-forward search for a life connected to the soil, for marriage as a sacrament and family life "that" affirms a style that is resonant with the authentic, and [returns] American poetry to a Wordsworthian clarity of purpose."
In The New Collected Poems, Berry reprints the nearly two hundred pieces in Collected Poems, along with the poems from his most recent collections—Entries, Given, and Leavings—to create an expanded collection, showcasing the work of a man heralded by The Baltimore Sun as "a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau . . . a major poet of our time."
Wendell Berry is the author of over forty works of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and has been awarded numerous literary prizes, including the T.S. Eliot Award, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. While he began publishing work in the 1960s, Booklist has written that "Berry has become ever more prophetic," clearly standing up to the test of time.
About the Author
Wendell Berry is the author of more than fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal, the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Louis Bromfield Society Award. For more than forty years he has lived and farmed with his wife, Tanya, in Kentucky.
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