interior static banner

New York Times Bestseller Kathleen Norris to give Frederick Buechner Keynote Lecture at King University, Emmanuel Episcopal Church Oct. 23

BRISTOL, Tenn., Oct. 9, 2017 – King University’s Institute for Faith and Culture welcomes New York Times bestselling author and award-winning poet Kathleen Norris to speak Monday, Oct. 23 as part of the 2017-18 Lecture Series. Norris will give the Frederick Buechner (Beek-ner) Keynote Lecture, “Wisdom, Spirituality, and Social Justice,” at King’s Memorial Chapel at 9:15 a.m. on the main campus in Bristol, Tenn. At 7 p.m., at Emmanuel Episcopal Church located at 700 Cumberland Street, Bristol, Va. The events are co-sponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

”We are fortunate to invite Kathleen Norris back to King University, and the Institute for Faith and Culture. Kathleen Norris is warm and unpretentious; her work is deeply moving and contemplative,” said Institute Director Shannon Vance. “In a world of sound bites and noise, Kathleen Norris advocates for listening silence, for profundity, for connection to God. Norris’s work has shaped other Christians who search for a liturgical way to live daily life, and who value Christian spirituality and wisdom.”

Kathleen Norris is an award-winning poet, the author of five bestsellers, and a popular speaker on how the spiritual world is rooted in the chaos of daily life. Born in Washington, D.C., Norris was raised in Lemmon, South Dakota, but attended high school in Honolulu.

During the 1980s, Norris became an oblate of a Benedictine monastery, Assumption Abbey, in North Dakota, and subsequently spent two years in residence at the Ecumenical (now Collegeville) Institute at St. John’s Abbey (Collegeville, Minn.)

Upon graduating from Bennington College, Norris moved to New York City, where she published her first book of poetry, “Falling Off.” Soon after, she returned with her husband, the poet David Dwyer, to her grandparents’ home in Lemmon, where she was inspired to write her first nonfiction work, the bestseller “Dakota: A Spiritual Geography.”

One of her best-known books, “The Cloister Walk” is a thought-provoking record of her time spent as a married, Protestant woman in a traditional Benedictine monastery in Minnesota. Readers have become inspired by Norris’s experiences among monks. The book describes how, though little understood in our society, monks are admirable bearers of tradition, incorporating in their lives the values of stability, silence, and humility that we so desperately need, yet relentlessly avoid.

Norris’ other bestselling works include “Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith;” “Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life;” and “The Virgin of Bennington,” which is a coming-of-age memoir. She has also produced six other books of poetry during her career.

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Shannon Vance at, 423-652-4836, or 423-747-3524.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. 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 on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.