Kathleen Norris was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Hawaii. After attending Bennington College in Vermont, Norris moved to New York, where she worked for the American Academy of Poets. She was quickly immersed in the vibrant, often rowdy, artistic world of New York city in the early 1970's. Due to her growing interest in spirituality, Norris left New York for the peace of Lemmon, South Dakota, where she still lives. In both her poetry and her best-selling nonfiction work, Kathleen Norris frequently combines elements of the secular and religious worlds.