Guest lecture by Mary Ellen Ashcroft features Dorothy L. Sayers

Staff report

Mary Ellen Ashcroft Mary Ellen Ashcroft Creativity, Meaningful Work and Gender: The Life and Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers will be presented by Mary Ellen Ashcroft at Cook County Higher Education on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the North Shore Campus.

Brilliant, energetic, and outspoken, Dorothy L. Sayers stood out during a time when women were expected to be passive and decorative. Over her lifetime, the issue of meaningful work became central in all her writing—mystery novels, plays, essays, and translations, as well as her extensive correspondence. An outspoken voice for feminism and faith, she grappled with lack of money and lack of space for someone with her dynamism, edginess and wit.

Speaking about Sayers’ interesting life will be Mary Ellen Ashcroft. Ashcroft holds a PhD in English from the University of MN. She was a professor for many years at Bethel University— teaching fiction and non-fiction prose writing and literature courses such as Women Writers and The Novel.

At Kalamazoo College she was an English professor (teaching courses such as Environmental Writing as well as Literature of Southern Africa) and developed an interfaith chapel program. After fulfilling ordination requirements in Cambridge, England (as a scholar in the Center for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies), she was ordained priest in the Episcopal Church 11 years ago, and moved to Grand Marais six years ago with her partner Suzanne Sherman to start WindCradle, a renewal center.

Ashcroft has written a number of books, including The Magdalene

Gospel, Spirited Women, and Dogspell: the Gospel According to Dog. She is vicar of Spirit of the Wilderness Episcopal Church and is currently working on a book about her eight years living in South Africa. She loves paddling in the Boundary Waters, cross country skiing, and playing with her three grandchildren—Esme, Tucker and Henry.

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