posted September 19, 2011

Visiting Writers Series to Open Season on Sept. 27

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series at Hope College will open its season on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre with the sixth annual Tom Andrews Memorial Reading, which will feature poet Chris Dombrowski and memoirist Mira Bartok, both of whom are former Hope students. 

In addition, each writer will participate in a question-and-answer session, Mira Bartok on Monday, Sept. 26, at 3:30 p.m. and Chris Dombrowski on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m.  Both question-and-answer sessions will be in the Herrick Room on the second floor of the DeWittCenter. 

The public is invited to both the question-and-answer sessions and the reading.  Admission is free. 

Chris Dombrowski, who graduated from Hope College in 1998, is the author of the poetry collection "By Cold Water," a finalist for "ForeWord Magazine's" "Poetry Book of the Year," and the chapbook "Fragments with Dusk in Them," by Punctilious Press. Forthcoming publications include a chapbook "September Miniatures with Blood and Mars" and a collection, "Fire's Bride." His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including "Crazyhorse," "Denver Quarterly," "New Letters," "Poetry" and "Poetry Daily." Dombrowski's awards include the Associated Writing Programs' Intro Award, Alligator Juniper's National Poetry Prize, and a writing fellowship from the UCross Foundation. Dombrowski currently teaches creative writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts. 

Mira Bartok, who attended Hope in the latter 1970s before attending art school in Chicago, wrote "The Memory Palace" and 28 books for children, and has been recognized as a "New York Times" bestselling author and noted in "The Best American Essays" series. Her writing has appeared in several literary journals and anthologies. She lives in Western Massachusetts where she runs "Mira's List," a blog that helps artists find funding and residencies all over the world. "The MemoryPalace" is Bartok's first book for adults. She is also co-founder of North Radio, multi-media collaborative that she runs with her husband, drummer and music producer Doug Plavin. Additional information is available at her website at http://www.mirabartok.com. 

Every year one reading in the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series is done in honor of Tom Andrews (1961-2001), a 1984 Hope graduate who was born and grew up in West Virginia. Following Hope, he earned his M.F.A. at the University of Virginia. In his lifetime, Andrews published three books of poems and a memoir, "Codeine Diary," about his coming to terms with his hemophilia and his determined refusal to let it circumscribe his life. He also edited two collections of essays, "The Point Where All Things Meet: Essays on Charles Wright" and "On William Stafford: The Worth of Local Things." In 2002, Oberlin College Press published "Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews," a posthumous volume comprised of two previously published books of poetry, "The Brother's Country" and "The Hemophiliac's Motorcycle," and other works. 

Additional information about the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series may be obtained online at www.hope.edu/vws. 

A performance by a Hope jazz group will precede the reading beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.