Helen Norris, a native of Montgomery and a graduate of the University of Alabama with bachelor's and master's degrees, is the author of four novels, four collections of short stories, and two books of poetry. Her fiction and plays have received a number of awards, with stories translated into Chinese, Polish, Dutch, and Tamil. Two novels were Book Club selections. HBO made a movie of her story, "The Christmas Wife," which is aired every season. PBS aired another story, "The Cracker Man." She has received four O. Henry Awards, a Pushcart Prize, two Andrew Lytle awards, the four Christian Book Association awards, the Penwomen's Biennial Award, and was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award and the Los Angeles Times Fiction Award.
Her two books of poetry, Whatever Is Round and Rain Pulse, were each chosen Poetry Book of the Year by the Alabama State Poetry Society. She was elected poet laureate by the Alabama Writer's Conclave and commissioned by Governor Don Siegelman in 1999.
Norris married and reared two children. Her surviving child, a son, now a lawyer, has given her three grandsons. She attended Duke University, then taught English at Huntingdon College for thirteen years, after which she resigned to resume writing. (Alabama State Archives Web site)