Monk leaves cloistered abbey to discuss his art, spirituality and ethics at Lynn

Brother Paul is a published poet and photographer who noviced under well-known monk/author
Monk leaves cloistered abbey to discuss his art, spirituality and ethics at Lynn

Published Oct. 17, 2011

Contemplative and trappist Monk Paul Quenon, a published poet and photographer, has left his cloistered order for a short time to visit Lynn University and engage with students from Monday, Oct. 17 to Friday, Oct. 21.

Brother Paul was recently profiled on the PBS program, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. The show also has dedicated a page to his poems.

His visit provides Lynn students and others with a rare opportunity to speak with someone who lives the cloistered, contemplative life of a monk—a lifestyle that is isolated from much of the cluttered, hectic and technology-driven lives of most Americans.

Brother Paul is from the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, a Cistercian monastery, where he started as the novice of Thomas Merton (1915-1968)—a monk who gained fame for the monistic life in America through his writings and activism. He published more than 70 books on spirituality, social justice and pacifism.

Brother Paul, following in the footsteps of his master Brother Merton, has published four books of poetry in Canada and the United States: Afternoons with Emily, Monkswear, Laughter My Purgatory, Holy Folly and Terrors of Paradise, and his photography has been shown in Louisville, Chicago, Vancouver and elsewhere. He has has also been the community cook since 1973, is a cantor, and has slept under the stars for 20 years. 

A highlight of Brother Paul’s visit will be his lecture at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Amarnick Goldstein Concert Hall where he will discuss his photography and recite poetry from his recently published book, Afternoons with Emily—a collection of his poems inspired by Emily Dickinson. His activities will also include visiting several classes to discuss amoral capitalism, creative writing, ethics, philosophy and American literature.

He is visiting Lynn at the invitation of Father Martin Devereaux, Lynn’s campus chaplain.