Kentucky poet, farmer and activist Wendell Berry will be honored in Washington D.C. tonight as the 41st Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities. The honor is the highest one the government bestows in the humanities. Over his long career, Berry has written fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He’s also a farmer and environmentalist, and most recently has channeled his activism into protesting mountaintop removal coal mining. National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach says besides being a wonderful poet and prose writer, Berry’s lifestyle makes him a modern-day Henry David Thoreau.
“What Wendell Berry has done is ennoble the concept of rural living and underscore a concern for living with the environment in such a way that we can have a sustainable earth,” says Leach.
Berry will deliver his speech entitled “It All Turn on Affection” at 6:30 P.M. CST at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the event were free, but all spoken for days after Berry’s speech was announced. The NEH plans to stream the event online—here's a link.