Wendell Berry Presses Coal Protest, Wins Honors

Wendell Berry speaking in Frankfort, Indiana

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Berry made a less ballyhooed but more personally agonizing stand against the coal industry last summer when he severed a lifelong relationship with the University of Kentucky over a corporate sponsorship deal.

The writer was horrified by UK’s decision to accept $7 million for a new basketball dormitory from a group of donors organized by a coal company president. The dorm will be called the Wildcat Coal Lodge.

He withdrew papers he had on loan to the university, the same campus where he studied as a student, later taught writing and met his wife, Tanya. He also vowed to end any other associations with the state’s flagship school.

“I have an immense debt to that university. I would have liked very much to be at peace with it and to be proud of it,” he said. “I didn’t have $7 million but I did have those papers on loan up there, so I made the most of what I had.”

via Wendell Berry Presses Coal Protest, Wins Honors | Common Dreams.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting–I had not seen this story anywhere else. I have enormous respect for Mr. Berry. See the About post on my Some/Home blogsite

    • Thank you for the “like” and the comment. I enjoyed your “About” a great deal. I love Snyder & Berry’s poetry. My copy of “turtle island” is well-worn and I have read “mad farmer” poetry at readings often.

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