posted September 13, 2011

Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series Announces Fall Line-Up

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series at Hope College will host five distinguished writers in the fall semester, including the 2010 National Book Award winner, Jaimy Gordon. 

The public is invited. All events are free. 

All readings begin at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland. Question-and-answer sessions with the writers are at 3:30 p.m. in the Herrick Room on the second floor of the DeWitt Center. 

° The series will open its season on Tuesday, Sept. 27, with the Fifth Annual Tom Andrews Memorial Reading. This year's memorial reading will feature two Hope alumni: poet Chris Dowbrowski and memoirist Mira Bartok. Chris Dowbrowski, who graduated from the college in 1998, is the author of the poetry collection "By Cold Water," a finalist for "ForeWord Magazine's" "Poetry Book of the Year," and the chapbook "Fragments with Dusk in Them," by Punctilious Press. Mira Bartok, who attended Hope in the latter 1970s before attending art school in Chicago, wrote "The Memory Palace" and 28 books for children, and has been recognized as a "New York Times" bestselling author and noted in "The Best American Essays" series. 

° On Thursday, Nov. 3, Jaimy Gordon will read from her recent, award-winning novel, "Lord of Misrule." "Lord of Misrule" won the 2010 National Book Award for fiction and the 2010 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, and was selected by the "Washington Post" and "Time" magazine as Best Book of the Year. 

° On Monday, Nov. 14, Edward Hirsch and internationally renowned Polish poet Adam Zagajewski will read. Hirsh is a former MacArthur Fellow and poet. Since receiving his Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, Hirsh has published several books of poems as well as numerous prose volumes. Poet, novelist and essayist Adam Zagajewski has received numerous awards for his poems and memoirs, including a fellowship from the Berliner Kunstler program, the Kurt Tucholsky Prize, a Prix de la Liberté and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Both poets will be reading from their recent work. 

Founded in 1982 by faculty member Jack Ridl, the Visiting Writers Series has hosted writers ranging from emerging voices to Pulitzer Prize winners.  All events - panels, readings, classes, and workshops - are free of charge. The series was renamed by Hope in 2006 to honor Ridl's creation and maturation of the series. 

"The purpose of the series is to expose Hope College Students and the wider Holland community to established, nationally-known writers, allowing all to envision a life of writing and reading," explains Pablo Peschiera, assistant professor of English and current director of the series. 

Additional information about the Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series may be obtained online at www.hope.edu/vws. 

A performance by a Hope jazz group will precede each reading beginning at 6:30 p.m. 

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., facing Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.  The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St.