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Drawing on primary documents such as the seventeenth-century reports of French Jesuit missionaries, excerpts from the Draper manuscripts, and the journals of pioneers George Croghan and Christopher Gist, this collection surveys a broad and under-recorded history. A consummate poet, Jane Gentry — possessed an uncanny ability to spin quietly expansive and wise verses from small details, objects, and remembered moments. Her poetry is deeply rooted in place, exuding a strong connection to the life and land of her native Kentucky. Gentry was also a beloved and influential teacher, as well as serving as Kentucky Poet Laureate from She served as a mentor to generations of young writers and worked tirelessly to promote new voices.

Gentry and her daughters collaborated with editor Julia Johnson to organize this definitive collection. This volume includes two previously published full-length collections of poetry in their entirety— A Garden in Kentucky and Portrait of the Artist as a White Pig. Winter Come: The Ascension of York. The alternately heartbreaking and uplifting poems in When Winter Come are told from multiple perspectives and rendered in vivid detail.

When Winter Come exalts the historical persona of a slave and lifts the soul of a man; York ascends out of his chains, out of oblivion, and into flight. Many-Storied House: Poems. Each room, each curio, each haunted nail and joist is catalogued, named, and invested with chiseled language.

Within it, she commingles ethnography, archeology and catechism. Many-Storied House is a heartbreaking, yet triumphant, inventory of acquisition, loss, the sacramental offices of love, the vanished beloved, and their shades that forever walk the rooms of recollection. It is free and open to the public.

To be eligible for induction this year, the writer must have been deceased, connected significantly to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the author of published and enduring fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry A consummate poet, Jane Gentry — possessed an uncanny ability to spin quietly expansive and wise verses from small details, objects, and remembered moments. Like this: Like Loading Foretaste of Glory.

Trees Of Heaven.

Conversations with Kentucky Writers II. Conversations with Kentucky Writers. The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton.


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Thomas Merton: Social Critic. Tobacco Harvest: An Elegy.

The Enduring Hills. Hannah Fowler.

Miss Willie. A racial or ethnic history cannot, as Berry knows, according to this correct logic, be seen as a marginal or arbitrary fact, without which the primary white system could continue unaffected. Well of course we can—imaginatively. But what affects are we forgetting? Are there ineluctable principles of community and unity, that we ignore and at what risk?

What are the principles of communal attraction and repulsion, bonding and delineating? It is to his credit, we should note, that Berry does not try to force a carefree intermingling between the world of Henry County, on the one hand, with its contrasting urban counterpart, on the other, nor imagine a peaceful synthesis between industrial agriculture and traditional husbandry. He is vigilant in his work of keeping things separate, fiercely protecting his distinctions.

Berry exhibits little sympathy for this sort of non-integrated spiritual sphere, this kind of once a week religious devotion. Although one may associate Berry with empathy, empathy is hardly his dominant trope, as least not in The Unsettling of America. And that is certainly part of its attraction, but also a feature that creates some too-often neglected contradictions. Some suppose that matriarchy or sociocracy or living in a commune of tiny houses will solve the existential problem of identity and difference.

Others believe that decolonizing our souls, our nations, and our institutions will result in an a harmoniously peaceful unity —a unity lacking coercion and exile alike, community with both the benefits of community and individualism. As much as I believe many of these curative efforts might help create a just communal order, maybe substantially, the thought of solving the problem of heterogeneity, rather than somehow managing it, involves too much wishful thinking and untethered idealism. In addition to what I think are structural contradictions, history gives us a dim record of this hope, which goes by names such as the empire of liberty, a classless society, the triumph of the will, the hippie drop-out, or the global knowledge economy.

It is for this reason that I asked, above, what sort of inconvenient truths might return from the repressed if we imagine the principle of unity without observing the forces required both to unify and to banish the un-unifiable.

So if we relinquish the dream that, once understood, everyone will live according to the loving embrace of permacultural principles, and that, having seen the light or the Wheel of Life there will be no persistent outliers, adversaries, or discontents, we have to admit that there are only a few possible ways to deal with heterogeneity. The communitarians of which I count myself are correct if they point out that the Liberal solution works, such as it does, only under conditions of immense surplus and expanding space.

Under these conditions, Liberalism seems to offer immense and permanent promise.

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Absent an infinite universe, and this is our second alternative, the fact that people may want different things here on lifeboat Earth, or may refuse to submit to the program, however decolonized it is, is a problem for community that can be dealt with either through exclusion, repression, or some combination of the two. When the common enemy or threat disappears, and perhaps also the heavy-hand permitted to enforce the temporarily strong social norms, the internal differences quickly reappear.

That these moments participate in a dialectic of identity and difference, at any rate, is suggested, I have tried to show above, in the very terms we use to discuss them. One exclusion or set of differences is replaced with another. One of the fascinating things about Berry is the way he tacitly seems to agree with this rather unyielding notion of communal homogeneity, but in a way that is not, I think, fully grasped in the reception of his work. Though Berry seems to have little use for Marx, the notion of commodification is audible in the lines of this poem, while in the visual score individuation is depicted as self-commodifying pseudo-freedom:.

The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective. The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free To sell themselves to the highest bidder And to enter the best paying prisons. Okay, perhaps. Or are we seeing a sort of slip of the tongue in which he reveals the presence of a deeper, perhaps necessary, historical connection—the same sort we saw in our all too brief reflections on the history and demographics of Henry County?

Perhaps the dismissive attitude towards certain kinds of equality—or that achieved under non-agrarian conditions—is functionally necessary to his critique of our culture. Let there be no sense that I am accusing Berry of cruel-hearted white supremacy—far from it. Is it causal, symptomatic, coincidental? Why, I would ask, did you want to highlight the specific differentiation that that particular phrase and image suggests? To what extent, I would follow up, does the nurturing husbandry you describe require a hierarchy, and if so, how is this hierarchy to be determined?

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We know how this was determined, know it all too painfully; but how might we deal with it in the future, or even the present? But how might we find a human homecoming for people who have no Henry County to which they might return? Berry has a discriminating intellect, but where does the discrimination end and the intolerance begin?

The poetry, as stirring as it is, lacks compassion or even an attempt to understand the lives whose individuality he dismisses. This approach works, at least under some specific conditions of which Liberals remain unconscious, and with very real collateral damage that Liberals have yet to accept. For amidst the call for a return to nurture and community, there may be a lack of empathy for those alienated and estranged, not by modern industrial society, but perhaps by remnants of a local community such as that found in Henry County: the gay or transgendered person, as one example, escaping the bullying small-town high school for the discretionary communities of an urban diversity; the forced and inescapable marriages of a past era; the white supremacy that cleared the land for white yeoman farmers.

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Berry is close, to say the least, to dismissing the lives and struggles lived in response to all that. An industrial money economy does estrange us from nature and community; but it also allows people to escape from nature and community turned repressive. To consider the contradiction in Liberal environmentalism or whatever we may choose to call this struggle from a slightly different and more pointed angle, the idea and ideal of community deserve further consideration. As one side of our liberal desire, we like to think of community in terms of its warm embrace.

Like Berry, we often herald its bonds of obligation and reciprocity, transfiguring them in our imagination into song-circles, potlucks, or the caring hand reaching out to a brother or sister who is stumbling. These are not imaginary qualities. Rather, I want to be clear-eyed about the stakes: for bonds of obligation are bonds that may not be easily untied; the obligations are not voluntary. They are saved by the reciprocity, when it exists, but there is a violence to community and its unities that should not be ignored. In America this had its roots in a Puritan culture whose norms were created as a response to the difficulty of forging a place for itself on the edge of a great wilderness.

As Bell puts it,. The core of puritanism, once the theological husks are stripped away, was an intense moral zeal for the regulation of everyday conduct, not because the Puritans were harsh or prurient, but because they had founded their community as a covenant in which all individuals were in compact with each other. Given the external dangers and psychological strains of living in a closed world, the individual had to be concerned not only with his own behavior but with the community.

The progressive, Liberal response was to open the world, figuratively and in all sorts of practical ways, such that openness has become a synonym or associated quality for almost all social goods. That this opening required an open frontier, or one that would be pried open at great cost, is generally not acknowledged. But even if we set this aside, the American and Liberal response to Puritanism and community required that its social function be ignored. Ignoring social function is a bad habit of Liberalism, but perhaps of most communitarianisms as well.

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In creating an alternative social order, Liberalism adopts an adversarial response to communal bonds, as a sort of universalizing principle that forgets historical necessity. This social order is tolerant or can be and accepting of social change and evolution, and intolerant of the stable, ordered, or traditional. It ignores the dislocation of community always in favor of individual spontaneity.

Can we have it both ways? Can we create cohesion, not to mention norms demanding of restraint and limits on consumption, while at the same time obeying the liberal imperative to be your irreverent self? In Liberal society, concerning the self and his or her private style, nothing is sacred. Community and its restraints, something we probably require in the face of our ecological culture, has always required propriety and reverence. A limitless morality, Berry says, is no morality at all.

I must complete the disappointment, at this point, of any readers still expecting a grand synthesis that might reconcile the demands of community and the demands of individualism, of ecology and of freedom, the group and the self. There will, in other words, be no image of a natural order so lovely and naturally natural that it creates a civilization entirely without discontents as we all fall into a reconciled reunion in which we are made fresh in a world of white.