Acclaimed essayist and poet Wendell Berry was born and has always lived in a provincial” part of the country without an established literary culture. In an effort to adapt his poetry to his place of Henry County, Kentucky, Berry discovered an enduringly useful example in the work of William Carlos Williams. In Williams’ commitment to his place of Rutherford, New Jersey, Berry found an inspiration that inevitably influenced the direction of his own writing.
Both men would go on to establish themselves as respected American poets, and here Berry sets forth his understanding of that evolution for Williams, who in the course of his local membership and service, became a poet indispensable to us all.
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Published February 10, 2011
Literature & Fiction.