Saint Catharine College Clock Tower photo

Wendell Berry speaks to Freshman Read

Renowned Kentucky author Wendell Berry spoke to the Freshman Read participants at St. Catharine College on Thursday, Aug. 23.  Mr. Berry is the author of over 40 books of poetry, essays, fiction and nonfiction.  He lives and farms in Henry County, Ky.

The Freshman Read is a common reading experience beginning its fifth year at St. Catharine.  This year, 184 freshmen and 44 Read Leaders have been reading and discussing Berry's novel, Hannah Coulter.  Through the eyes of an aging widow, Hannah Coulter recounts the journey of a young woman brought into the "membership" of a small farming community.  Hannah endures hard work, sacrifice and grief.  Simultaneously, she experiences real love.  Her responses to life offer us a realistic portrait of a life well-lived by a woman of integrity and grit.

"Wendell Berry spoke clearly and honestly to our freshmen about the responsibility they must bear to reclaim our polluted land to rebuild functioning communities. The audience listened intently as if they were hungry to hear his thoughts on Hannah Coulter, farming life and the future of their world," said Evelyn Silliman, director of St. Catharine's rtl3 Reading Program, which sponsors The Freshman Read and SCC's visiting authors.

rtl3 reaches across campus to raise awareness of the value of reading with programs such as Freshman Read and the upcoming "Celebration of Freedom to Read" during Banned Books Week.  During this event, the public is invited to participate as we read from books we love that have been challenged or banned in some area of the United States.  For more information on Banned Books Week at St. Catharine College, contact Evelyn Silliman at or 859-336-5082, ext. 1322.

To see photos of Mr. Berry's visit, go to the official SCC Facebook page at this link: