Wendell Berry The prolific poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry is a fifth-generation native of north central Kentucky. Berry taught at Stanford University; traveled to Italy and France on a Guggenheim Fellowship; and taught at New York University and the University of Kentucky, Lexington, before moving to Henry County. Berry owns and operates Lanes Landing Farm, a small, hilly piece of property on the Kentucky River. He embraced full-time farming as a career, using horses and organic methods to tend the land. Harmony with nature in general, and the farming tradition in particular, is a central theme of Berry's diverse work. As a poet, Berry gained popularity within the literary community. Collected Poems, 1957-1982, was particularly well-received. Novels and short stories set in Port William, a fictional town paralleling his real-life home town of Port Royal further established his literary reputation. The Memory of Old Jack, Berry's third novel, received Chicago's Friends of American Writers Award for 1975. Berry reached his broadest audience and attained his greatest popular acclaim through his essays. The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture is a springboard for contemporary environmental concerns. In his life as well as his art, Berry has advocated a responsible, contextual relationship with individuals in a local, agrarian economy.
Daniel Kemmis grew up on a small farm in eastern Montana and was educated at Harvard University and the University of Montana Law School. He fulfilled his lifelong fascination with politics by serving in the Montana Legislature as Speaker of the Montana House of Representatives, and subsequently as the Mayor of Missoula. Widely regarded as the Mountain West's leading contemporary thinker and writer on topics of human society and regionalism, Kemmis has written two books, Community and the Politics of Place and Good City and the Good Life. In addition to his books, he has written numerous articles for national magazines and journals, covering topics ranging from community building to Western states' politics. In 1997, he received the Charles Frankel Prize, presented by President Clinton, for his outstanding contributions to the humanities and he was recognized in 1995 by the Utne Reader as one of "100 Visionaries."