Originally broadcast at 2:00 p.m. ET Thursday, July 4, 2022.
Sophfronia Scott is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has appeared in numerous publications, for which she received a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts as well as the 2021 Thomas Merton Award from the International Thomas Merton Society. Her reflections on Merton’s wisdom and personal journals, as related in her book, The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton, will inform her lecture on the theme, Reconnecting with the Natural World. Sophfronia grew up in Lorain, Ohio, and began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time, where she co-authored the groundbreaking cover story “Twentysomething,” the first study identifying the demographic group known as Generation X. Her other books include All I Need to Get By, Unforgivable Love, Love's Long Line, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, co-written with her son Tain. Her essays “Hope on Any Given Day,” “The Legs on Which I Move,” and “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” are listed among the Notables in the acclaimed Best American Essays series. Scott holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has delivered lectures and keynote addresses for the Thomas Merton Center (16th Annual Thomas Merton Black History Month Lecture), the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, and the Mark Twain House and Museum. She has taught at Regis University’s Mile High MFA and Bay Path University’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She has also delivered craft talks and held workshops at the Yale Writers’ Workshop, the Wabash Center, Collegeville Institute, Meacham Writers’ Workshop, the Hobart Festival of Women Writers, and her own event, the Write of Your Life Writers’ Retreat, held annually in the Veneto region of Italy. Scott is currently the founding director of Alma College’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, a low residency graduate program based in Alma, Michigan. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, where she continues to fight a losing battle against the weeds in her flower beds.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.