Earlier this month, the final Chautauqua Lecture of the year at Eastern Kentucky University featured The Poetry of Thomas Merton. Until his accidental death in 1968, the Roman Catholic monk lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani, a Trappist monastery near Bardstown.
Merton was widely known for his religious writings, essays, even an autobiography in addition to his poetry.
Dr. Maureen Morehead was the speaker for the May 2nd lecture. The former Kentucky Poet Laureate and Spalding University professor spoke with me about Merton and his efforts to reach beyond the walls of the monastery.