Loyola University Chicago

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"From Black-Belt Sinner to Sweet Baby Jesus"

The Hank Center's 2016 Cardinal Newman Lecture was delivered by the poet and memoirist Mary Karr. Karr is the Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of English Literature at Syracuse University and a prolific writer within the genres of memoir and poetry. Her memoirs include The Liars' Club (1995), Cherry (2000), and Lit (2009), and her books of poetry include Viper Rum (2001) and Sinners Welcome (2006). Karr was the recipient of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award in 1995 (for The Liars' Club) and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005.

The Cardinal Newman Lecture Series is named after the great 19th century English prelate who wrote very movingly about his intellectual journey toward Roman Catholicism in his spiritual autobiography, Apologia pro vita sua (1864). Newman's work helped later generations of Catholics and Catholic converts map out ways to understand the datum of religious faith in light of the contemporary issues facing modern life.

Honoring this engagement with the Catholic tradition, the Hank Center has invited Karr to speak about her own conversion to the Catholic faith in light of her own ongoing scholarship.

To learn more about Mary Karr and her literary (and musical!) works, please visit her website: http://www.marykarr.com/bio.php