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 Responses."
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.