Literary giants Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder will discuss their new book Wednesday at Louisville’s annual Festival of Faiths, which takes place this year at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The poets are avid letter-writers, and their shared correspondence has been collected and published as “Distant Neighbors: the Selected Letters of Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder,” out next month by Counterpoint Press. Publisher Jack Shoemaker will moderate.
Nearly 240 letters made it into this new collection, which was edited and thoroughly researched and contextualized by Chad Wriglesworth. Snyder and Berry have been corresponding since the early 1970s, when Snyder came back from a long stay in Japan to build a homestead in the foothills of Northern California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and Berry returned to his native Port Royal, Kentucky, to farm. Both poets and essayists have written extensively on ecology and our relationship with the natural environment. But their correspondence reveals as many points of difference – of opinion, of region, of background – as similarity, and lively and thoughtful dialogue on many topics, along with fellowship and a reverence for art and authenticity, is the result.
Kirkus Reviews says “Candid, introspective and often deeply philosophical, these letters offer intimate glimpses into the lives and minds of two influential contemporary writers. “
Copies of “Distant Neighbors” will be on sale at the event (7-9 p.m., Wednesday, May 14).
Note: WFPL will post audio of the event later this week.