In 1995, Wendell Berry’s Roots to the Earth was published in portfolio form by West Meadow Press. The wood etchings of celebrated artist and wood engraver, Wesley Bates, were printed from the original wood blocks on handmade Japanese paper. In 2014, this work was reprinted at Larkspur Press, along with additional poems. It is now with great pleasure that Counterpoint reproduces this collaborative work for trade publication, as well as expanding it with the inclusion of a short story, “The Branch Way of Doing,” and additional engravings by Bates.
In his introduction to the 2014 collection, Bates wrote: “As our society moves toward urbanization, the majority of the population views agriculture from an increasingly detached position. . . In his poetry [Berry] reveals tenderness and love as well as anger and uncertainty. . . The wood engravings in this collection are intended to be companion pieces to. . . the way he expresses what it is to be a farmer.”