PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO JUNE 6-11, 2021
Wendell Berry’s profound vision for human flourishing has always been rooted in local culture: in the people who create, nurture, and preserve ways of living that are sustainable and sustaining. His vast creative output (in poetry, fiction, and essay alike), explores the difficulties in keeping community between human beings whose lives are uniquely complicated and messy and fraught, especially in a modern world that seems to have jettisoned the age-old virtues. His writing reflects on the costs of the increasingly mechanized world on societies, soils, and souls, but not without a clarion call to take heart and take action. Berry issues an ongoing invitation to cultivate a rooted, reflective life, which necessitates working together towards a shared and solid goodness even when empathy and simplicity do not come easy.
Taking three of Berry’s short novels, five poems, and two classic essays as its core texts, this Close Reads retreat will contemplate Berry’s vision for modern life. Together we will revel in his vision for place, delight in a few of the characters he presents (especially in the Catlett, Coulter, and Beechum clans), and wrestle with the ideas he proposes. And along the way, we’ll enjoy good food, friendships new and old, and a beautiful spot in the North Carolina mountains.