The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series of Hope College will feature Hope graduates Matthew Baker and Kathleen McGookey on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. in the John and Dede Howard Recital Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts for the 10th Annual Tom Andrews Memorial Reading.
The college’s Contemporary Jazz Ensemble will provide live music immediately before the reading in a performance beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the John and Dede Howard Recital Hall. In addition, there will also be a question-and-answer session earlier in the day, at 3:30 p.m. in the Fried-Hemenway Auditorium of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.
The public is invited to the events. Admission is free.
Matthew Baker’s fiction has appeared in publications such as “One Story,” “New England Review,” “The Southern Review,” “American Short Fiction” and “Best of the Net,” and his children’s novel “If You Find This” was published earlier this year by Little Brown. He has held creative writing fellowships through a variety of organizations including the Fulbright Commission, the MacDowell Colony and Bread Loaf. He is a 2008 Hope graduate and has an MFA from Vanderbilt University, where he was the founding editor of “Nashville Review.”
Kathleen McGookey’s prose poems and translations have appeared in many journals and anthologies including “The Antioch Review,” “Boston Review,” “Crazyhorse,” “Denver Quarterly,” “Epoch,” “Field,” “Indiana Review,” “The Laurel Review,” “Ploughshares,” “The Prose Poem: An International Journal,” “Prairie Schooner,” “Quarterly West,” “Seneca Review,” “West Branch” and “Willow Springs.” She is the author of “Whatever Shines” (White Pine Press), “October Again” (Burnside Review Press) and “Mended” (Kattywompus Press), and the translator of “We’ll See” (Parlor Press), a book of prose poems by contemporary French poet Georges Godeau. Her book “Stay” is forthcoming from Press 53 this fall, and her book “At the Zoo” is forthcoming from White Pine Press in spring 2017. She has received grants from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and the Arts Fund of Kalamazoo County, and in 2014 she received a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, which supports artists who are parents. She has taught creative writing at Hope College, Interlochen Arts Academy and Western Michigan University. She is a 1989 Hope graduate and holds an MFA from Western Michigan University.
Every year, one reading in the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series is done in honor of Tom Andrews (1961-2001), a 1984 Hope graduate who was born and grew up in West Virginia. Following Hope, he earned his MFA at the University of Virginia. In his lifetime, Andrews published three books of poems and a memoir, “Codeine Diary,” about his coming to terms with his hemophilia and his determined refusal to let it circumscribe his life. He also edited two collections of essays, “The Point Where All Things Meet: Essays on Charles Wright” and “On William Stafford: The Worth of Local Things.” In 2002, Oberlin College Press published “Random Symmetries: The Collected Poems of Tom Andrews,” a posthumous volume comprised of two previously published books of poetry, “The Brother’s Country” and “The Hemophiliac’s Motorcycle,” and other works.
Additional information about the series is available online at hope.edu/vws.
The Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts is located at 221 Columbia Ave., between Ninth and 10th streets. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave, at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.