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Cairns to Lecture at King University & the Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church Sept. 28

BRISTOL, Tenn., Sept. 14, 2015 – Scott Cairns, noted memoirist, translator, and poet, will present two lectures on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 as part of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture 2015-16 lecture series. The first lecture will take place at 9:15 a.m. in King University’s Memorial Chapel; the second lecture will begin at 7 p.m. at the Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church located at 150 Elizabeth Ann Circle in Bluff City, Tenn. The events are co-sponsored by Bristol Herald Courier.

“Listening to Scott Cairns some years ago improved the way I thought about words,” says Martin Dotterweich, associate professor of History at King University. “Both in his poetry and his prose, he calls attention to ‘how words are things and do things,’ and thus ultimately to the Word made flesh. With his words, Cairns draws us to ponder the mysteries of faith, offers us an account of his own life as a ‘slow pilgrim,’ all the while finding laughter in surprising places.”

The King Institute for Faith and Culture is pleased to work with area churches; Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church is co-host Scott Cairns as part of this year’s lecture series. Spirituality plays an integral role in Cairns’ writing; in an interview, he said, “I’ve come to think of beauty as how God woos us to himself. One doesn’t so much create it or illuminate it as partake of it. Thereafter, one participates, collaborates, in its endless development.”

Tacoma, Wash., native Scott Cairns is a professor of English at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His poetry and essays have appeared in major publications such as Paris Review and Atlantic, and been anthologized in editions of The Best American Spiritual Writing.

A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and Denise Levertov Award, Cairns also contributes blogs to the religion section of Huffington Post and hosts a podcast, “Flesh Becomes Word,” for Ancient Faith Radio. His two most recent works are “Descent to the Heart,” a verse adaptation of selections from the writings of Saint Isaak of Syria, and “Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems.”

Besides writing poetry, Cairns has also written a spiritual memoir, “Short Trip to the Edge,” and the libretto for the oratorios “The Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp” and “A Melancholy Beauty.”

Cairns earned a Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University, a Master of Arts from Hollins College, a Master of Fine Arts from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He is the founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece, a program that brings writers to study and engage with literary life in modern Greece.

Scott Cairns will speak at 9:15 a.m. at King University’s Memorial Chapel on Monday, Sept. 28, and again at 7 p.m. at the Christ the Savior Greek Orthodox Church located at 150 Elizabeth Ann Circle in Bluff City, Tenn. The events are open to the public and free to attend. Visit or contact Dr. Shannon Harris, interim director of the King University Institute for Faith and Culture at, 423-652-4836, or 423-747-3524 for additional information.


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