In New Collected Poems, Berry reprints the nearly two hundred pieces in Collected Poems, along with the poems from his most recent collections--Entries, Given, and Leavings--to create an expanded collection, showcasing the work of a man heralded by The Baltimore Sun as "a sophisticated, philosophical poet in the line descending from Emerson and Thoreau . . . a major poet of our time." Wendell Berry is the author of over fifty works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and has been awarded numerous literary prizes, including the T. S. Eliot Award, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. While he began publishing work in the 1960s, Booklist has written that "Berry has become ever more prophetic," clearly standing up to the test of time.--publisher description.
That accessibility and his impatience with artifice in poetry or politics may suggest why some in the academic world ignore or disparage his writing.
The later collections are not as strong as those from 1994 and before. His elegies, especially the one for his grandfather, are haunting and universal. I highly recommend living with this collection for a while.