Best-selling author Kathleen Norris to speak

Kathleen Norris, best-selling author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, will speak at Northwestern College on Wednesday, April 9, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Bultman Center gymnasium as part of Minding Place, place-themed events at the college. Community members are invited to one or both free events.

In Dakota, Norris writes about a place similar—both geographically and spiritually—to Siouxland. Describing, understanding and minding a place requires more than geographical knowledge, more than historical research, and more than cultural or religious study. Truly minding place requires that participants cultivate an integrated understanding of place, as Norris does in her book.

Published in 1993, Dakota was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and also was selected as one of the best books of the year by Library Journal.

Norris has also published seven books of poetry and a number of non-fiction books, including The Cloister Walk about her monastic experience as an oblate of the Benedictine monastery Assumption Abbey in North Dakota. Another book, Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, includes stories that illuminate theological concepts like grace, repentance and faith.

Norris lives in Lemmon, S.D., and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Copies of Dakota are available at Northwestern’s Ramaker Library and the Orange City Public Library. It can also be purchased at the Northwestern College Bookstore or through most online and retail booksellers.

Minding Place also includes writing and oral history workshops by author Jim Heynen and historian Charles Morrissey on Saturday, April 5.

Norris is the keynote speaker for the college’s first Day of Learning in Community, which will also include more than 20 afternoon workshops by Northwestern faculty, staff, students and alumni. Workshops are open to community members as well.

For more information about Minding Place, visit or contact event planner Jill Haarsma, 712-707-7100, to request a brochure. Minding Place is funded in part by Humanities Iowa, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.