interior static banner

King University News :: Award-winning Poet and Author Patricia Hampl to Present Buechner Institute’s Annual Lectureship at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol on Feb. 1

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 24, 2014 – Each year, the Buechner (Beek-ner) Institute at King University hosts its annual Buechner Lectureship. Past lecturers include Frederick Buechner, for whom the Institute is named, Barbara Brown Taylor, Ron Hansen, Katherine Paterson, Marilynne Robinson, and Kathleen Norris.  This year, the Institute is pleased to present noted author and poet Patricia Hampl as the 2014 Buechner Lecturer. On Saturday, Feb. 1, at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tenn., Hampl will begin the days’ events with an on-stage interview at 4 p.m., followed by her lecture at 7 p.m.

Hampl first won recognition for her memoir about her Czech heritage published in 1981, “A Romantic Education,” which was awarded a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. This and subsequent works have made her influential in the rise of autobiographical writing over the last 25 years.

Hampl most recent book, “The Florist’s Daughter,” was named to the New York Times 100 Notable Books list. Applying her well-honed skills as historian, scribe, and observer, Patricia Hampl tells the story of trying to do right by both her parents. She takes a hard look at the life she has led, where she has ended up, and why.

The New York Times Book Review stated that “Hampl’s honest examination of her own life makes ‘The Florist’s Daughter’ a wonder of a memoir.”

Her 2006 work, “Blue Arabesque: A Search for the Sublime,” was also a Times Notable Book.

Hampl is also the author of two collections of poetry including “Woman Before an Aquarium and Resort and Other Poems”. In addition, “I Could Tell You Stories,” her collection of essays on memory and imagination, was a finalist in 2000 for the National Book Critics Circle Awards in General Nonfiction.

“Patricia is an old friend of Fred Buechner's, and her work in memoir reflects that friendship. We are pleased and fortunate to have her coming to Bristol,” states Dale Brown.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1968 and the University of Iowa in 1970, Hampl Hampl occupied the positions of visiting assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of English at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. Hampl has also served as an educator at other institutions such as Ball State University and West Virginia University. She also served as a faculty member for the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference 1995 and 1996. She is a contributing editor at The Alaska Quarterly Review. Since 2005, she has been a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program, hosted by Prague's Charles University and Western Michigan University.

“Patricia Hampl writes memoirs that delight, but also ones that ask us to examine the stories we tell about our lives.  Like Buechner, her work--poetry and non-fiction alike--calls us to pay attention,” said Jennifer Holberg, a professor of English at Calvin College and chair of the Buechner Institute Board.

Patricia Hampl will be interviewed on-stage at First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Tenn., by Jennifer Holberg. Following, Hampl will present “The Virtue of Heresy” at 7 p.m. The events are open to the public and free to attend. For more information, contact Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute at King University, at 423.652.4156 or visit


King University is a Presbyterian, doctoral-level comprehensive college structured on a university model.  Founded in 1867, the College offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of off-campus learning opportunities and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 24 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.