Kathleen Norris (poet)

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Kathleen Norris (born in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 1947) is a best-selling poet and essayist. Her parents, John Norris and Lois Totten, took her as a child to Hawaii, where she graduated from Punahou Preparatory School in 1965. After graduating from Bennington College in Vermont in 1969, Norris became arts administrator of the Academy of American Poets, and published her first book of poetry two years later.[1] In 1974 she inherited her grandparents' farm in Lemmon, South Dakota, moved there with her husband David Dwyer, joined Spencer Memorial Presbyterian church, and discovered the spirituality of the Great Plains.[2] She entered a new, non-fictional phase in her literary career after becoming a Benedictine oblate at Assumption Abbey Richardton ND in 1986, and spending extended periods at Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.[3] Since the death of her husband in 2003, Norris has transferred her place of residence to Hawaii, though continuing to do lecture tours on the mainland.

Published books[edit]

  • Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston/New York City 1993, ISBN 0-395-71091-X (pbk.) (awarded "Notable Book" status by The New York Times)
  • The Cloister Walk
  • The Virgin of Bennington
  • Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith
  • Benedict and Scholastica
  • The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work"
  • Acedia and Me
  • Falling Off
  • The Middle of the World
  • The Year of Common Things
  • Little Girls in Church
  • Journey: New and Selected Poems, 1969-1999. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 2001, ISBN 0-8229-4137-6.

Norris has also been a regular contributor to such magazines as Christian Century.


  1. ^ Kathleen Norris, Falling Off, Big Table Publishing Company, 1971.
  2. ^ Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, 1993.
  3. ^ Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk, Riverhead Books, 1996.

External links[edit]