The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series provides our community with diverse and rich literary experiences.

  • Tarfia Faizullah and Jamaal May Q&A
  • Aminatta Forna Reading
  • Students with Jamaal May at book signing
  • Hope College Jazz Ensemble performs before an event

We are a student-run, faculty-organized series committed to hosting free events that are open to the public.

Every event offers opportunities for our local and student communities to interact with the visiting writers and discuss their craft — through panels, readings, classes and workshops.

Recent visitors include novelists Tim O’Brien and Aminatta Forna, poets Terrance Hayes and Joy Harjo, and graphic artist Jeffrey Brown. Our previous visiting writers are listed below.

View upcoming JRVWS events

Previous Visiting Writers
A
Lee K Abbott Fall 1997
Diane Ackerman Fall 1999
Kim Addonizio Spring 1995
Marjorie Agosin Fall 2007
Tom Andrews Spring 1990, ’94
Janis Arnold Fall 1999
Rane Arroyo Fall 2006
Susan Atefat Peckham Spring 2000, Fall 2001
B
MaryJo Bang Spring 1998
Russell Banks Spring 1996
Kim Barnes Fall 1999
Andrea Barrett Fall 1999
Lynda Barry Fall 2005
Quan Barry Spring 2004
Jackie Bartley Fall 1988, ’97
Rick Bass Spring 1993
Charles Baxter Spring 1992, ’00
Marvin Bell Spring 2015
Pinckney Benedict Fall 1996
Elizabeth Berg Fall 2002
Robert Bernen Fall 1993
Daniel Berrigan Fall 1997
Toni Blackman Fall 2008
Kimberly Blaeser Spring 1995
Katherine Bode-Lang Fall 2015
Eavan Boland Fall 1994
Shane Book Spring 2013
Robert Boswell Spring 2006
Marianne Boruch Spring 2004
Elizabeth Bradfield Spring 2011
Gwendolyn Brooks Fall 1993
Fleda Brown Jackson Spring 1990
Jeffrey Brown Fall 2012
Michael Dennis Browne Fall 1990
Ellen Bryant Voigt Spring 1993, Fall 1994
Oni Buchanan Fall 2012
Janet Burroway Fall 2003
Gabrielle Burton Fall 1987
Rainelle Burton Fall 2001
Robert Olen Butler Spring 2003
C
Bonnie Jo Campbell Spring 2003
Ethan Canin Spring 1995
Lan Samatha Chang Fall 2001
Susanna Childress Spring 2012
Michael Chitwood Fall 1995
David Cho Spring 2012
Susan Choi Fall 2009
David Citino Fall 1986
Lucille Clifton Spring 1992
Andrei Codrescu Spring 1988
Judith Ortiz Cofer Spring 1997
Billy Collins Spring 1997
D
Tony D’Souza Spring 2008
Jim Daniels Fall 1990
Tenaya Darlington Spring 2002
Peter Ho Davies Spring 2003
Melissa Delbridge Spring 2010
Michael Delp Spring 1984, Fall 1989
Toi Derricotte Spring 1997
Elizabeth Dewberry Spring 2003
Danielle Deulen Fall 2012
Sharon Dilworth Fall 1990
Anthony Doerr Fall 2008
Laura Donnelly Fall 2015
Mark Doty Fall 2002
Jack Driscoll Fall 1989
Stephen Dunning Fall 1988
Stuart Dybek Spring 1984, Fall 1992
E
Cornelius Eady Fall 2007
David Harris Ebenbach Fall 2006
Clyde Edgerton Spring 2002
Lynn Emanuel Spring 1992
Percival Everett Spring 2007
F
Beth Ann Fennelly Spring 2004
Francis Fike Spring 1990
Karen Joy Fowler Spring 2008
Vievee Francis Fall 2006
Alice Fulton Spring 1989
G
M. Evelina Galang Spring 2001
Brendan Galvin Fall 1993
Cristina Garcia Fall 2010
Ellen Gilchrist Spring 1997
Aracelis Girmay Fall 2009
Dave Griffith Spring 2008
H
Barbara Hamby Spring 2006
Patricia Hampl Spring 1994
Joy Harjo Spring 1993, Fall 2012
Michael Harper Spring 1991
Terrance Hayes Spring 2010
Samuel Hazo Spring 2002
Robert Hemley Fall 2000
Amy Hempel Spring 1992
Gordon Henry, Jr Fall 1997
David Hernandez Spring 1995
Conrad Hilberry Fall 1986, ’91, ’98, Spring ’00
Sean Hill Spring 2011
Edward Hirsch Spring 2013
Tony Hoagland Fall 1999
Linda Hogan Fall 1996
Jay Hopler Fall 2007
Andrew Hudgins Spring 1987
Harry Humes Spring 1994
J
Gish Jen Spring 1998
Mat Johnson Spring 2013
Richard Jones Fall 1990
Van Jordan Spring 2001, Fall 2005
Allison Joseph Spring 2001
Diana Joseph Spring 2011
K
Laura Kasischke Fall 1996
Janet Kauffman Spring 1989
JesseLee Kercheval Spring 1999
Jamaica Kincaid Spring 1999
Galway Kinnell Spring 1991
David Kirby Spring 2006
Yusef Komunyakaa Spring 1994
Maxine Kumin Fall 1995
L
Li-Young Lee Spring 1986, ’91, Fall ’01
Lisa Lenzo Spring 1998
Dana Levin Spring 2001
E.J. Levy Spring 2015
Lorraine Lopez Fall 2005
M
Bob Mankoff Fall 2015
Michael Martone Spring 2007
Stefanie Marlis Spring 1991
Michael Martone Spring 2007
Adrian Matejka Fall 2015
Sebastian Matthews Fall 2005
Jill McCorkle Fall 2000
Kevin McFadden Spring 2011
Alison McGhee Fall 1998
Kathleen McGookey Spring 2002
Heather McHugh Fall 1994
Kevin McIlvoy Spring 2000
James McKean Spring 1988
Orlando Ricardo Menes Spring 2015
Wayne Miller Fall 2010
Judith Minty Fall 1988
Ander Monson Fall 2008
Rick Moody Fall 2003
Lorrie Moore Fall 1997
Thylias Moss Fall 1996
Julie Moulds Spring 2002
Andy Mozina Fall 2008
Lisel Muellar Spring 1990
N
Linda Nemec Foster Spring 1990
Nancy Nicodemus Spring 1990
Lewis (Buddy) Nordan Spring 2008
Naomi Shihab Nye Spring 1988, ’98
O
Joyce Carol Oates Fall 1997
Sharon Olds Fall 1992
William Olsen Fall 1990
Steve Orlen Fall 2003
Gregory Orr Fall 2009
Simon Ortiz Fall 2003
P
Gary Pak Spring 2012
William Patrick Fall 1990
Joel Peckham Fall 2001
Miriam Pederson Fall 1991
Ben Percy Spring 2011
James Perkins Fall 1987
Lawrence Pike Spring 1993
Chaim Potok Spring 1995
Lynn Powell Spring 1998
Francine Prose Spring 2009
R
Nahid Rachlin Spring 2002, Fall 2007
Glenis Redmond Spring 2003
Donald Revell Spring 1988
Jack Ridl Fall 2006
Alberto Rios Spring 1996
Marilynne Robinson Fall 2005
Luis Rodriguez Spring 2000
Victor Rodriguez-Nunez Spring 2006
Dana Roeser Spring 2006
Anele Rubin Spring 2007
Mary Ruefle Fall 1990
Richard Russo Fall 2002
John Rybicki Spring 2002
S
Arnie Sabatelli Spring 2000
Mary Ann Samyn Spring 2007
Sonia Sanchez Spring 2000
George Saunders Spring 2010
Herbert Scott Fall 1988
Linda Scott DeRosier Fall 2001
Heather Sellers Spring 1996
David Shields Fall 2010
Joan Silber Spring 2007
Sue Silverman Spring 1997, 2000
Charles Simic Spring 1989, 1994
Charlie Smith Spring 1989
Lee Smith Fall 1995
Minton Sparks (w/John Jackson) Spring 2009
William Stafford Spring 1988, 1991
Gerald Stern Fall 1991
Susan Straight Spring 1992
Virgil Suarez Spring 1998
T
Lynne Thompson Spring 2009
Quincy Troupe Fall 1995
Chase Twichell Spring 1996
U
Leslie Ullman Spring 1992
Lee Upton Fall 1987
V
Jean Valentine Fall 1991, Spring 2013
W
Don Waters Fall 2009
Kellie Wells Fall 2003
Joe Wilkins Spring 2015
Nancy Willard Spring 1991
Jonathan Williams Fall 1986
Mark Winegardner Spring 2013
Jon Woodward Fall 2012
Charles Wright Spring 1990
Y
Mark Yakich Spring 2008
Al Young Fall 1992
David Young Spring 1994
Z
Ofelia Zepeda Fall 2000
Paul Zimmer Spring 1979, 1985, 1989, 1994