Poetry Collection "Against Elegies"
by Jack Ridl in Second Edition
Posted August 28, 2002
HOLLAND -- The award-winning poetry collection
"Against Elegies" by Jack Ridl of the Hope College English
faculty is in its second edition.
The collection was originally published in the
fall of 2001 in a limited-edition run as the winner of the
2001 "Letterpress Chapbook Competition" sponsored by the
Center for Book Arts of New York City. The collection was
chosen by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins from among some
500 entries. The letterpress-printed chapbook was designed,
printed and bound by artists at the center.
The new edition has been designed by BBK Design of
Grand Rapids and published through Ridgeway Press.
According to Ridl, the poems of "Against Elegies"
are linked thematically in beginning with everyday objects
and situations that have meaning below the surface.
"In most of these poems, I start with something
that doesn't necessarily look meaningful, and then I'm
searching in the poems to find meaningfulness--why it might
matter," he said. "And we're surrounded by these things."
Ridl is the author of other published collections
including "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 in several
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.
Copies of the new edition of "Against Elegies" are
available at the college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore, located on
the ground level of the DeWitt Center, as well as at other
area book sellers.