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Author Paula Huston to speak on spiritual practices

MIDDLEBURY — Paula Huston, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow, and author of two novels and seven works of spiritual nonfiction, will be speaking at Memorial Baptist Church, on Friday, April 28, at 7:30pm. Ms. Huston will be speaking on “Spiritual Formation: Down-to-Earth Practices”.
Paula Huston’s short stories and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines. A former writing and literature teacher in the California State University system, she currently mentors graduate students in creative nonfiction for the Seattle Pacific M.F.A. program. A wife, mother, and grandmother, she is an oblate, or vowed lay member, of a Camaldolese Benedictine monastic community in Big Sur, California.
 Huston knew she was going to be a writer by the time she was in second grade. Yet, like many writers, the way was long and convoluted. At 35, she finally enrolled in full college time, completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and going on to earn a Master’s Degree in English and American Literature. She was hired to teach writing and literature at Cal Poly S.U. where she received her degree. Through out this time, she continued to write and publish literary fiction.
“Paula Huston has much in common with Kathleen Norris and Henri Nouwen, two major stars in the constellation of contemporary writers on the spiritual journey,” critic Doris Donnelly says in reviewing Huston’s book “The Holy Way.” “She appears to have the integrity, insight, and originality necessary to make her own important contribution as a credible witness to what happens when God is chosen as the center of one’s life.”
A reconversion at 40 to the Christianity she’d abandoned as a teenager led her to the Catholic Church and eventually to becoming an oblate (lay member) of a community of contemplative Catholic monks. Curious to see if she could use the skills she’d learned as a short story writer and novelist to write about the spiritual life, she spent the next 15 years writing seven books ranging in subject matter from the sacraments to the spiritual disciplines.
Nowadays, she and her husband Mike raise olives, fruit, vegetables, chickens, and bees on four acres on the central coast of California, where they have lived for the past thirty-two years. She divides her days between their four young grandchildren, their little farm, the monastery, and her own writing.
This event is free and open to the public.

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