Terry Tempest Williams

On the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of us who had tickets in hand to see the premiere of After Tiller at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, were wanded and searched by police before entering the theater. It was a sobering moment.

Terry Tempest Williams celebrates the filmmaker as activist.


Terry Tempest Williams enjoys watching her religion on stage.

Why Rick Santorum is wrong about “Man” and “Earth.” (From an upcoming issue of The Progressive.)

Each of us has our mentors, the individuals who showed us at an early age not only a different way of seeing the world, but a different way of being in the world. I found my mentor at the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His name was Ted Major. He was the first Democrat I had ever met. I was eighteen years old.


When he was taken away in handcuffs, so was any sense of justice in the United States of America.

Terry Tempest Williams savors cherries and celebrates simple pleasures.

Terry Tempest Williams communes with gorillas in Rwanda.

I have never seen such a perverse skyline.

Last week, I was a guest at a meeting of abortion providers in the Intermountain West, where the first rule of business on the agenda was the rule of no disclosure: absolutely no identification of those who were in attendance.


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Helen Caldicott, a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, calls this “one of the most frightening books...


This time we’ve got some advantages.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

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