Poet, writer, and author Kathleen Norris will be the second speaker in the popular Courage and Faith speaking series on Saturday, October 25 at Christ Church Greenwich. Norris will be speaking on “Gifts for the Desert.” Kathleen Norris is the award-winning poet, writer, and author of The New York Times bestsellers The Cloister Walk, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, and The Virgin of Bennington. Exploring the spiritual life, her work is at once intimate and historical, rich in poetry and meditations, brimming with exasperation and reverence, deeply grounded in both nature and spirit, sometimes funny, and often provocative. In 1986 she became an oblate, or associate, of a Benedictine monastery, Assumption Abbey in North Dakota. Subsequently, she spent two years in residence at the Ecumenical (now Collegeville) Institute at St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. Her next book, The Cloister Walk, is structured as a diary of her monastic experience interspersed with meditations on virgin saints, Emily Dickinson, celibacy, loneliness, monogamy, and a hymnist of the early church, Ephrem of Syria. Some reviewers have compared her portrait of the world of the monastics to the writings of Thomas Merton. Her book Amazing Grace continues her theme that the spiritual world is rooted in the chaos of daily life. In this book, she sheds light on the very difficult theological concepts such as grace, repentance, dogma, and faith. Her intention is to tell stories about these religious concepts by grounding them in the world in which we live. Widowed in 2003, Kathleen Norris now divides her time between South Dakota and Honolulu, Hawaii, where she volunteers at an Episcopal church, cooks for a homeless shelter, and helps teach a spirituality class for teenagers. She travels to the mainland regularly to speak to students, medical professionals, social workers, and chaplains at colleges and universities, as well as churches and teaching hospitals. She is also poetry editor of Spirituality & Health and the nonfiction editor of the Saint Katherine Review.
Courage and Faith presents Kathleen Norris on “Gifts from the Desert” Saturday, October 25. A 6:30 p.m. reception will precede the 7:00pm talk in the Christ Church Greenwich Parish House Loft. Christ Church Greenwich is located at 254 E. Putnam Ave. (203) 869-6600. Christ Church is a short bus or taxi ride from the Metro North Greenwich Station on the New Haven line.
There is no charge to attend, nor RSVP required, but seating is limited. For more information, go to www.courageandfaith.org.