By Kathy Johnson, Gail Bennett
(March 2, 2015) — Today, Monday, March 2, WUKY will broadcast a recording of the induction ceremony of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and comments by renowned writer Wendell Berry, the first living writer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. On January 28, Berry was honored as well as gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005), University of Kentucky Professor Guy Davenport (1927-2005), Affrilachian poet Effie Waller Smith (1879-1960), New York Review of Books co-founder Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) and Western Kentucky University Professor Jim Wayne Miller (1936 -1996).
The recording of the event will air at 7 p.m. today on WUKY 91.3, the University of Kentucky's NPR station.
When asked about the award, Berry said he felt a strong sense of kinship with his fellow inductees. “I know a number of the ones, the absent ones that have been honored, and there were a number of people present tonight who meant a lot to me, so I was surrounded by friends of the past and the present."
In his speech, Berry praised Kentucky for its literary tradition, and stressed the need for capable authors to keep it alive. Berry went on to stress that "writers now, as never before, must keep aware that literacy is their trade, until now a trade of supreme importance. Much that we now have that is of greatest value has come to us from books. The survival of literacy in an age of illiteracy may require us to remember how physical, how much of the senses, the life of literacy is."
The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created by the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of the Commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about the state's rich literary heritage.
WUKY has provided a podcast of the induction ceremony and Berry’s comments at www.wuky.org.
The WUKY news story of the event is here: http://wuky.org/post/carnegie-center-inducts-living-author-ky-writers-hall-fame.