Jack Ridl Wins "Say the Word" Poetry Competition
Posted February 11, 2002
HOLLAND -- Jack Ridl of the Hope College English
faculty has won the 2002 "Say the Word" poetry competition
sponsored by The Writers' Center of the Ellipse Art Center
in Arlington, Va.
"Say the Word" is a literary series that includes
the annual national poetry competition as well as readings,
performances and workshops. The competition features a
different theme each year, and this year is exploring
"Writing About Joy."
Ridl's poem, "The Dry Wallers Listen to Sinatra
While They Work," was selected by poet David St. John. The
poem will be published in "Poet Lore," and Ridl will give a
reading at The Writers' Center on Friday, May 31, in
addition to receiving a $500 prize.
In 2001, Ridl won the "Letterpress Chapbook
Competition" sponsored by the Center for Book Arts of New
York City, for his collection "Against Elegies," selected by
U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. His other published
collections include "The Same Ghost" (1985), "Between"
(1988), the chapbook "After School" (1987) and "Poems from
The Same Ghost and Between" (1993).
He has published more than 175 poems in journals
such as "The Georgia Review," "Poetry East," "Chelsea,"
"Gulf Coast," "The Denver Quarterly," "Poetry," "The New
York Quarterly," "Ploughshares," "Prairie Schooner" and
"FIELD." He has also had work included in more than a dozen
anthologies, and is co-author, with Hope colleague Peter
Schakel, of the text "Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and
He has read his work and led workshops at
colleges, universities, art colonies and other venues around
the country. He teaches introductory, intermediate and
advanced courses in poetry writing at Hope, and also founded
the college's Visiting Writers Series.
Among other honors, in 1996 he was chosen
Michigan's "Professor of the Year" by the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The college's
graduating class of 1975 presented him with the "Hope
Outstanding Professor Educator" Award.
Ridl was one of four Hope faculty poets to read
during the college's Winter Happening program on Saturday,
Feb. 2. Also this spring, he will be reading at the Portage
Library on Thursday, Feb. 14; Muskegon Community College on
Wednesday, March 13; Ferris State University in Big Rapids
on Thursday, April 4; and Aquinas College in Grand Rapids on
Sunday, April 28.