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March 2001
144 pages  

5 1/2 x 9
9780822957614
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Journey
New and Selected Poems, 1969-1999
Norris, Kathleen
Journey includes poems from three previous books spanning thirty years, along with a generous selection of new work that continues her radically individual celebration of the sacredness of life.

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Kathleen Norris’s books of poetry include The Middle of the World, Little Girls in Church, and The Astronomy of Love. In addition to her best-selling memoirs (all listed as New York Times Notable Books), her most recent prose works include Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and “Women’s Work,” The Virgin of Bennington (a memoir) and a children’s book on Sts. Benedict and Scholastica (in collaboration with the artist Tomie de Paola) are forthcoming. Her honors include grants from the Echoing Green Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts. She lives in South Dakota and Honolulu, Hawaii.
“Norris, whose poetry collections include The Middle of the World, reached a wide audience with her prose memoir Dakota: A Spiritual Geography. Readers of that book will recognize here her closely considered relationship with the prairie; her persistent and delighted spiritual questioning; her respectful identification with other women both ordinary and extraordinary; and her joy in stories. . . . Norris’s poems are characterized by generosity and compassion, as plain and spacious as the prairie life that has engendered many of them.”—Publishers Weekly

“Norris reminds her readers that poetry can address the soul in unforgettable ways as she gracefully jumbles secular with sacred, human eros with divine, gravitas with gaiety and meditative musing with narrative plot.”—Christian Century

“She has inherited [Emily] Dickinson’s view that the thing that inspires is the thing to be celebrated. The reader can often sense Ms. Norris’s sheer pleasure in writing.” —New York Times Book Review

“Here is a poet who with wit, sharp intelligence, joy, and an all-seeing eye praises life from the ordinary to the sublime.”—Belles Lettres

"Kathleen Norris's Journey articulates a genuine pilgrimmage, bearing witness that the river of appearances runs unfathomably deep, that the evening air is inexplicably scented and close, that the lover's hand upon the beloved attends an inestimable mystery. These are the measures of an expansive soul."—Scott Cairns

"Let us rejoice in the way Journey gathers up poems from 1969 to 1999 and shows them in illuminating new kinships—Norris's usual saints and angels, to be sure, but also those unsaintly and unangelic among us who still merit the notice of a poet supremely observant and generous as well as suprememly eloquent. I wish I knew her secret of perfect balance of the real and the surreal, the most telling presentation of mundane-seeming things endowed with depth and dignity. What a poet!"—William Harmon

“How fitting it is that this well-constructed collection of Norris’ witty and graceful poetry arrives just after her memoir about becoming a poet, The Virgin of Bennington. Her poems provide the lyrics to the chorus of her prose, illuminating the mystical aspects of her feelings about her Dakota heritage and her gradual discovery and embrace of a religious life. Norris is supple and inventive, neatly making the leap from such homey images as a closet filled with a tumble of shoes to the magical and the divine, such as an angel waiting for morning. . . . This volume tracks her convoluted journey back to traditional Christianity, but Norris never loses touch with more free-floating spirituality: the timeless and nondenominational gospel of sun, birds, a bee at a flower, a baby at a breast.”---Donna Seaman, Booklist, April 15, 2001

“A collection of her poetry [which] explores the sacredness of life and the diverse landscapes of the spiritual world in works spanning three decades, including both new poems and selections from three previous anthologies. “—Paper Clips, Bridgewater, NJ May 2001

...these poems are neither abrstract nor sere. They are rich in apt, concrete detail and prikling with bodily sensations. Everything throbs with the music of living. Espousing a Christianity shorn of its comforts and often stripped to essentials, she pays homage to the wisdom of the body. She does so with humor that is more street -smart then sentimental,... Journey is about striving for enlightenment, not about having attained it- and these poems celebrate both the physicality of the body and the spiritual qualites inherent in a simplified life. — Kikus Review, New York, NY April 15 2001

In a harmonious blending if evocative language and sharp-eyed observation, poet Kathleen Norris demonstates her ease in writing to connect with readers. Norris delves deeply by way of poetry into the signifcance of the human condition. Norris with stir your heart, your memory and your smiles. If you love her prose and have not yet discovered her poetry, here is the book with which to start your own personal journey. "To read through Norris's new and selected poetry in Journey is to watch a flower blossom through the lens of a time-lapse machine."–Paul Mariani, America, August 13-20, 2001—Linda Huttonm, editor Rhyme Time Poetry Journal May 16, 2001

“The author dares to look for wisdom in an age of poetic narcissism. Norris's book is a journey—both through thirty years of writing (including material from previous books of poetry) and through regions of belonging, in the realms of geography, relationships, and spirituality. . . . The collection is both noteworthy and accessible.”—ForeWord, 2001

“God is at work/ in us, close/ to the bone” writes Norris, a poet perhaps best known for three prose works (Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, 1993; The Cloister Walk, 1996; and Amazing Grace, 1998). These volumes found their inspiration in the spiritual renewal experienced by Norris through farm life, ministry to a small Midwestern church community, and extended retreats in a Benedictine monastary. Now she has brought together a well-rounded collection of her poetry spanning 30 years. Here are poems, arranged chronologically in four sections each beginning with a verse from the Song of Solomon, that tenderly describe an event or scene, examine it, and conclude with a flash of seemingly unrelated insight, leaving profound questions in the reader's heart: “Now the new mother, that leaky vessel,/begins to nurse her child,/ beginning the long goodbye.” Carrying her readers along on her deeply Christian journey, Norris avoids spiritual certainty and preachiness, remaining ever the seeker. Her poems are lyrical, accessible, and hauntingly touching to read and to reread. Highly recommended.”—Library Journal

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Kathleen Norris has touched readers throughout America with her thoughtful and provocative memoirs of faith: Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, The Cloister Walk, and Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith. She is equally admired for her poetry of engagement with the spiritual world and its landscapes. Journey includes poems from three previous books spanning thirty years, along with a generous selection of new work that continues her radically individual celebration of the sacredness of life.
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