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The Unforeseen Wilderness Kentuckys Red River Gorge.jpg

The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky's Red River Gorge is a book written by Wendell Berry with photography by Ralph Eugene Meatyard.


Only someone who values land enough to farm a hillside for more than thirty years could write about a wild place so lovingly. Wendell Berry just as easily steps into Kentucky's Red River Gorge and makes the observations of a poet as he does step away to view his subject with the keen, unflinching eye of an essayist. The inimitable voice of Wendell Berry at once frank and lovely is our guide as we explore this unique wilderness.

Located in eastern Kentucky and home to 26,000 acres of untamed river, rock formations, historical sites, unusual vegetation and wildlife, the Gorge very nearly fell victim to a man-made lake thirty years ago. No place is to be learned like a textbook, Berry tells us, and so through revealing the Gorge's corners and crevices, its ridges and rapids, his words not only implore us to know more but to venture there ourselves. Infused with his very personal perspective and enhanced by the startling photographs of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, The Unforeseen Wilderness draws the reader in to celebrate an extraordinary natural beauty and to better understand what threatens it.