The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature Marvin Bell on Thursday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in Winants Auditorium of Graves Hall.

There will also be a question-and-answer session in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication earlier in the day, at 3:30 p.m.

The public is invited to both events. Admission is free.

Bell has written more than 23 books, and remains well known for developing the “Dead Man” poem form. In discussing the Dead Man poems, Judith Kitchen of “The Georgia Review” has written, “I believe Marvin Bell’s Dead Man poems should close any anthology of the twentieth century and open any anthology of this new century’s work. They change the game.” 

Some of his poetry collections include “Mars Being Red,” a finalist for the Los Angeles Book Award; “Which See, Stars Do Not See,” a finalist for the National Book Award; and “A Probable Volume of Dreams,” which was selected as a Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets. 

Bell has been published in “The New Yorker,” “Chicago Review,” “New Republic,” “Poetry,” “Harper’s Bazaar,” “Harvard Review,” “The Atlantic Review,” “The Nation,” “Hudson Review” and numerous other journals. 

During two separate time periods, he wrote informal columns about poetry for “The American Poetry Review.” Bell has edited for “The North American Review” and “The Iowa Review,” and he conceived and edited for five years an annual series for Lost Horse Press called “New Poets/Short Books.”

His literary honors include awards from the Academy of American Poets, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Poetry Review, along with Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, and Senior Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia. In 2000, Bell was named Iowa’s first Poet Laureate, serving two terms.

He did graduate work in journalism at Syracuse University and later in literature and writing at the University of Chicago and University of Iowa. For many years, Bell served as the Flannery O’Connor Professor of Letters at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. 

Bell and his wife Dorothy split their time between Iowa City, Iowa, and Port Townsend, Washington. Currently, he serves on faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

Additional information about the series is available online at

Graves Hall is located at 263 College Ave., between 10th and 12th streets.  The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.