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Wendell Berry to receive lifetime achievement award from National Book Critics Circle

Kentucky author Wendell Berry will speak Jan. 28 at an author’s signing at the Southern Sustainability Agriculture Working Group.
Kentucky author Wendell Berry will speak Jan. 28 at an author’s signing at the Southern Sustainability Agriculture Working Group. teblen@herald-leader.com

The National Book Critics Circle will honor famed Kentucky author Wendell Berry with a lifetime achievement awards and has named Lexington poet Ada Limón as one of 30 finalists in six categories for outstanding books of 2015, the group announced Monday.

Berry will receive the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, given annually to “a person or institution — a writer, publisher, critic, or editor, among others — who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture,” according to the National Book Critics Circle website. Previous recipients have included author Toni Morrison and the Library of America.

Berry, 81, is the author of eight novels, two short story collections, 28 volumes of poetry, and 31 volumes of nonfiction. An outspoken environmentalist, organic farmer and pacifist, he has written about and engaged in civil disobedience against industrial agribusiness, ecological destruction, and militarization, the awards announcement noted.

Limon is a finalist in the poetry category for Bright Dead Things, a collection that she has said was influenced by her move to Kentucky more than four years. Bright Dead Things also was for a finalist last year for a National Book Award.

The awards will be presented March 17 in New York.

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