Wendell Berry to receive Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Friday
BY Staff Reports
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/02/12 at 3:41 AM
Wendell Berry has spent the past 50 years working the land settled by his forebears, while writing works of fiction, poetry and essays extolling the virtues of farming, community, rural life and traditional values.
Berry will be in Tulsa this weekend to receive the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.
Berry will receive the award - a $40,000 cash prize and an engraved crystal book - at a black-tie gala Friday night at Tulsa's Central Library, Fourth Street and Denver Avenue.
Berry will also give a free public presentation 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Central Library, in which he will discuss his life and work, answer questions, and sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase.
The 78-year-old Kentucky native, who farms 125 acres near Port Royal, Ky., with his wife, Tanya, has established himself as a principled presence in American letters, as well as an outspoken critic of industrialized farming.
During his prestigious career, he has made the decline of rural America largely the subject of his more than 50 works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
He also has received numerous awards and honors, including being selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to deliver the 2012 Jefferson Lecture. The lecture is now available in Berry's latest collection of essays titled "It All Turns on Affection."
Berry began his career in 1960 with the release of the novel "Nathan Coulter," set in Port William, a fictitious town located in Kentucky. Port William also is the backdrop for many of Berry's short stories, as well as a number of his other novels, including "Jayber Crow," "Hannah Coulter" and "Andy Catlett: Early Travels."
Original Print Headline: Berry in Tulsa to receive Helmerich Award