The Virgin of Bennington

By Kathleen Norris
(Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781573229135, 272pp.)

Publication Date: April 2002

List Price: $16.00*
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Description

Shy and sheltered as a young woman, Kathleen Norris wasn't prepared for the sex, drugs, and bohemianism of Bennington College in the late 1960sand when she moved to New York City after graduation, it was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. In this chronicle, Norris remembers the education she received, both formal and fortuitous; the influence of her mentor Betty Kray, who shunned the spotlight while serving as a guiding force in the poetry world of the late 20th century; her encounters with such figures as James Merrill, Jim Carroll, Denise Levertov, Stanley Kunitz, Patti Smith, and Erica Jong; and her eventual decision to leave Manhattan for the less-crowded landscape she described so memorably in Dakota. This account of the making of a young writer will resonate with anyone who has stumbled bravely into a bigger world and found the poetry that lurks on rooftops and in railroad apartmentsand with anyone who has enjoyed the blessings of inspiring teachers and great friends.




About the Author
Kathleen Norris is the author of two books of poetry, Falling Off (1971) and The Middle of the World (1981) and has received awards from the Guggenheim and Bush foundations. She lives in Lemmon, South Dakota, with her husband.
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