Jack Ridl, professor emeritus at Hope College where he founded their Visiting Writers Series, was twice awarded outstanding professor awards from students. In 1996 the Carnegie Foundation named him Michigan Professor of the Year.
Ridl will read and speak as part of Grand Valley's Writers Series on Thursday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 2215 Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus.
Ridl has given readings throughout the country including being invited to the Geraldine R. Dodge Festival. His latest collection is Losing Season (CavanKerry Press). The book explores life during a long, hard winter in a small town that is obsessed with its high school basketball team's losing season. Richard Jones has written "Losing Season isn't just a great book of poetry, for it is much more than that--it is more like the Great American Novel we have long hoped would grace our literary landscape."
In 2008 the Institute for International Sport named Ridl one of the 100 most influential people in sports, and named Losing Season as best sports education book for 2009. The book has been featured on NPR’s “Only a Game,” “The Writers’ Almanac,” and “The Story.” Bill Littlefield of the Boston Globe named it one of the five top sports books for 2009.
Ridl's previous full collection, Broken Symmetry, (Wayne State University Press) was co-recipient of The Society of Midland Authors award for best book of poetry published in 2006. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins chose his collection Against Elegies for The Center for Book Arts (NYC) Chapbook Award. He is also author of the chapbook, Outside the Center Ring, a collection of poems based on his childhood experience with the circus. Ridl is also co-author with Peter Schakel of Approaching Literature and of Approaching Poetry, both from Bedford/St. Martin's Press.
Learn more about Ridl on his web site www.ridl.com. This event is open to the public with free admission. For more information on the GVSU Writers Series, contact Austin Bunn at (616) 331-3601.