Encore: Wendell Berry, Poet & Prophet

A version of this program originally aired October 4, 2013.

In this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers profiles one of America’s most influential writers, a passionate advocate for the earth, whose prolific career includes more than forty books of poetry, novels, short stories and essays.

Wendell BerryWendell Berry, whom environmental activist Bill McKibben calls “a prophet of responsibility,” lives and works on the Kentucky farm where his family has lived for 200 years. In addition to being a man of letters, Berry is also one of action. In 2011, he joined a four-day sit-in at the Kentucky governor’s office to protest the mountaintop removal of coal.

“He is one of — if not — the great writer at work in American letters right now. He understood what was happening on this planet a long time before everybody else,” says McKibben.

“The world and our life in it are conditional gifts. We have the world to live in and the use of it on the condition that we will take good care of it,” Berry tells Bill. “And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.”

Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet is a collaboration between Mannes Productions, Inc. and Schumann Media Center, Inc., headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and media programs to advance the understanding of the critical issues of democracy for the benefit of the public.