The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature fiction writer and memoirist Nahid Rachlin and poet Jay Hopler Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

Rachlin is the award-winning author of four critically acclaimed novels, a story collection, and, most recently, a memoir entitled "Persian Girls," which was selected by Christopher Merrill as one of the four best books of 2006.  "Persian Girls" tells the story of Rachlin's growing up in Iran, beginning at age nine, when she was taken away from the beloved aunt who had raised her.  "Publishers Weekly" has called the book a "lyrical and disturbing memoir" that "gives American readers rare insight in Iranians' ambivalence toward the United States, the desire for American freedom clashing with resentment of American hegemony." Rachlin currently teaches at The New School University in New York City.

Hopler won the 2007 GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry for his first book, "Green Squall," which was earlier chosen by Louise Glück as winner of the 2005 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. In her forward to "Green Squall," Glück characterizes Hopler as a poet who "sounds like no one else" and notes that his poetry creates "excitement of the highest order." Hopler was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1970 and currently lives in southwest Florida.

Live music by the Hope College Jazz Ensemble will precede the reading beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Additional information may be obtained online by visiting

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.