Peter Schakel and Jack Ridl of the Hope College English faculty are editors of "250 Poems: A Portable Anthology," published recently by Bedford/St. Martin's Press.
The book is a collection of poems, arranged chronologically, from medieval English ballads to works by recent American poets laureate such as Rita Dove, Robert Pinsky, and Billy Collins. It features classics like John Donne's "The Flea," Emily Dickinson's "I heard a Fly buzzwhen I died" and William Butler Yeats's "The Second Coming," as well as poems by contemporary ethnic poets such as Sonia Sanchez, Li-Young Lee, Louise Erdrich, Alberto Rios and Naomi Shihab Nye. It includes a detailed biographical note on each poet represented and a full glossary of poetic terms.
The book is designed both for general readers looking for a compact volume of excellent poetry and for use in classes on poetry.
Schakel joined the Hope faculty in 1969 after a year at the University of Nebraska. He is a graduate of Central College in Iowa and holds graduate degrees from Southern Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author or editor of two books on Jonathan Swift and five on C.S. Lewis, the most recent of which, "Imagination and the Arts in C.S. Lewis," was published by the University of Missouri Press earlier this year. He is the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English and chair of the department of English at Hope.
Ridl is the author of several collections of poetry, the most recent being "Against Elegies," chosen by U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins as the winner of the 2001 "Letterpress Chapbook Competition" sponsored by the Center for Book Arts of New York City. It is currently in its second printing. His earlier books of poetry include "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 and had work included in numerous anthologies. Ridl has taught at Hope since 1971. He was winner of the Hope Outstanding Professor-Educator award for 1976 and in 1996 was named Michigan Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Schakel and Ridl previously co-authored a textbook titled "Approaching Poetry: Perspectives and Responses" (St. Martin's Press, 1996). They are currently at work on another textbook, "Approaching Literature: A Multicultural Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama."
Copies of "250 Poems" are available at the college's Hope-Geneva Bookstore, located on the ground level of the DeWitt Center on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.