Siloam Springs, Ark (September 17, 2003) - John Brown University’s department of English is proud to host the Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature Sep. 25-27, focusing in “Spiritual Geography.” Best-selling author of The Cloister Walk, and Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris will be the keynote speaker at the conference. On Thursday, Sep. 25, Norris will speak at a meeting open to the public at 8:00 p.m. in the Bynum Theater on the JBU campus. “Kathleen Norris' work in the area of spiritual geography is of great value to all of us,” Lisa Brandom, head of the English department said. “When she speaks of the intersection of place and spirit, we begin to think of the importance of home to us as well--whether it's an earthly home or an eternal home. I hope members of the community will come to the reading Thursday night to hear her read from her prose and poetry." Norris writes from a literary and storyteller perspective. Her writings are both intimate and historical, rich in poetry, and grounded in nature and spirit. In place of religious terms, Norris tells stories to illustrate her points. Bestseller Dakota: A Spiritual Geography was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has also written The Cloister Walk, Amazing Grace, and The Virgin of Bennington. Among her other works are Journey: New and Selected Poems, Little Girls in Church, and The Holy Twins, a children’s book on which she collaborated with Tomie de Paola. John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,700 students from 42 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.