Kathleen Norris (born in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 1947) is a 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. Growing up, she spent most summers in her grandparent's town, Lemmon, South Dakota. 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. 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. She entered a new, non-fiction phase in her literary career after becoming a Benedictineoblate at Assumption Abbey Richardton ND in 1986, and spending extended periods at Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.At this period in her career, one of her focuses was death and depression. 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.