Glory Happening: An Interview with Kaitlin Curtice

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I don’t know about you, but as soon as the calendar turns to November, I start thinking about holidays and Advent and all of the wild and sweet moments that make up this season. During these months, I find myself turning to slower books from authors like Madeleine L’Engle and Jan Richardson—authors who help me pause and reflect.

When I had the opportunity to read Kaitlin Curtice’s debut book, Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places I immediately found myself breathing out, slowing down, and remembering to pause in the midst of my busy life.

Kaitlin kindly answered some of my questions and I hope you enjoy getting to know her a bit better. Glory Happening was one of my favorite books this fall and I hope you find it as welcoming as I did.

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Kaitlin Curtice is a Native American Christian author, speaker and worship leader. As an enrolled member of the Potawatomi Citizen Band and someone who has grown up in the Christian faith, Kaitlin writes on the intersection of Native American spirituality, mystic faith in everyday life, and the church. She is an author with Paraclete Press and her recently released book is Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places. She is a contributor to Sojourners, and you can also find her work on Patheos Progressive Christian.

Annie: Tell us a little about Glory Happening. What sparked this idea and the direction of these meditations?

Kaitlin: These meditations were really written for myself. I began to feel like I needed to write beyond what I was writing for my blog, and when I realized that I had a lot of stories and meditations from my life— my past and present— I wanted to put them down on paper. After writing about 30 of them, I realized that the thread of glory was throughout all of them, and once I realized that, this book quickly came together.

I read Glory Happening each night before bed and it was like reading an exhale. Your daily meditations helped ground my day. Which authors influenced this contemplative style? 

Richard Rohr, of course. Annie Dillard, Barbara Brown Taylor, Thomas Merton, just to name a few. A few years ago, when we lived in Arkansas, I would take a book or two to a coffee shop in my city. I wouldn’t even take my laptop, I’d just take a journal and I’d write all over the book and all over my journal. I was just internalizing all of it, and when we moved to Georgia, it was like I was given permission to then take all of those ideas and pour them out through the lens of my own life. These authors, among others, gave me the inspiration to do that. 

How does your Potawatomi heritage shape your experience of God and prayer? Did you find inspiration in traditional Potawatomi prayers as you wrote your own?

To me, prayer is poetry. I think it always has been. When I began learning a prayer in Potawatomi last year, it was like I discovered something in my faith that had been missing for a long time. I’m still learning the words of that prayer, but I pray it often. There’s something really important about being connected to your culture through the language—it has a different kind of grounding to your spirit. As always, my prayer life is changing. I don’t think prayers ever need to be exactly the same or stagnant. I think they need to flow like a poem, they need to transform and take on new shape as our relationship with this world and God does. For me, that looks like connecting my Christian faith to my Potawatomi faith.

When describing your book to friends, I have trouble labeling it. You wove memoir, quotidian moments, and daily glories into your writing. How would you categorize this work? Memoir? Poetry? Book of Prayer?

I laughed when I read this because I’ve had the same problem! I often just tell people, “I’m a storyteller. They are stories from my life that I hope reflect your own stories.” I often call them essays and reflective prayers. Memoir? I’m not really sure. A friend of mine likened it to eating a 50-course meal, which I thought was really beautiful. He said you can’t take it all in one sitting, but you can take small pieces at a time.

What’s next for you as a writer? How can we best connect with you?

Next March, I’ll be one of the main speakers for the Why Christian? conference at Duke Chapel and I’m really excited to be a part of it. This month for Native American Heritage Month I’m posting daily reflections to my blog, kaitlincurtice.com, about being a Potawatomi woman and a Christian, and some of the issues people have told me they want to learn more about. I hope you’ll check it out and join the conversation. 

I’m working on a second book that I hope to get published next year. It’s more specific about my journey as an indigenous Christian. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Thank you, Kaitlin, for sharing a bit about the heart behind Glory Happening. We look forward to hearing more from you!

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click through to Amazon, any purchase you make supports this site.

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For our Dangerous Women Tribe members: Check out Idelette’s interview with Kaitlin here.

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Annie Rim
I live in Colorado where I play with my daughters, hike with my husband, and write about life & faith. I have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I am honored to lead the Red Couch Book Club here at SheLoves. You can connect with me on Twitter @annie_rim or on my blog: annierim.wordpress.com.
Annie Rim

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  • Thank you, Annie, for these great questions.
    Blessings to you, Kaitlin, as you share with the world your beautiful thoughts toward God.

    • Thanks, Michele! I love Kaitlin’s view of God – she helped me enter into this season.

  • Such great questions, Annie!

    I love what you say about prayer as poetry, Kaitlin. I also connect to the importance of prayer in the language of our heritage. For me, it’s loaded with complication, but o, so much beauty and grace.

    • Thanks, Idelette! I agree, prayer as poetry and our heritage. This has reframed how I pray and how I view the space of prayer in my life.

  • Well done Annie! I think Eugene Peterson always talks about prayer being poetry. It’s interesting to consider it also the language of ones heritage. Thanks for treating us to knowing more about Kaitlin.

    • Thanks, Debby! Yes, I loved that added depth of the heritage of that poetry. It makes me want to explore prayer through that lens in my own story…

  • This sounds lovely! Another book for my To-Read list. Thanks Annie! ; )