Raised in California and Connecticut, Patty Kirk progressively fled home to New Orleans, Boston, Berlin, Beijing, and Hong Kong, studying German and Mandarin Chinese, teaching English, working in restaurants, and writing. She returned to the United States to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas. Kirk and her family live on a farm in Oklahoma.
Currently Kirk teaches writing at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, where she is Writer in Residence and Associate Professor of English. In addition to teaching, she writes, cooks, gardens, and continues to write. Her honest and challenging personal essays address such diverse topics as Christian living and spiritual development, food, cattle, literature, biblical exegesis and translation, and teaching. She is the author of Confessions of an Amateur Believer (Thomas Nelson, 2007) – a collection of essays about her journey from atheism to faith; Starting from Scratch: Memoirs of a Wandering Cook (Thomas Nelson, 2008) – a spiritually focused food memoir; A Field Guide to God: A Seeker’s Manual (Guideposts Books, 2010) – an exploration of God’s material unavailability and how contemporary believers might develop their sense of God’s invisible, inaudible, and intangible presence; and most recently, The Easy Burden Of Pleasing God, stories and reflections on the Scriptures that remind us that, despite what we may have heard or told ourselves, the yoke we take on as we follow Jesus is easy, and the burden of a loving God is light.