The Louisville Courier-Journal reports on Wendell Berry receiving the National Humanities Medal from Barack Obama. Here is a taste:
Berry said later that it was a memorable day.
“Not like any other one I’ve had,” he said in an interview.
“To have my work honored is a satisfaction … because my work has been to so large an extent an effort to promote good care of the land. And, of course, I’m still actively in efforts to do that. I’m glad for whatever notice that effort can receive.”
He said the president whispered to him during the ceremony that he admired his poetry.
“I’ve never had a president say anything to me before,” Berry said, adding that Obama, in fact, was the first president he has met.
He said he had one more opportunity to talk briefly with Obama during a picture-taking session with the medal winners.
“I asked if he got paid extra,” Berry said. “He said this was better than some things he had to do. It was a kind of pleasure.”
He said he also thanked the First Lady for promoting gardening and better food and food production.
“I thank you for that (White House) garden,” he told her.
Berry is a well-known activist in his home state. Just last month, for example, he participated in a three-day protest in the state Capitol to protest strip mining practices.
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