Jack Ridl

Acclaimed Michigan Poet

For over 37 years, Jack taught at Hope College, where the students named him Outstanding Professor Educator and Favorite Professor and twice asked him to give the commencement address. The Carnegie Foundation named him Michigan Professor of the Year in 1996. More than 85 of his students have  become published authors. 

The Poetry Society of Michigan named Jack as Honorary Chancellor for 2015-2016. “Practicing to Walk like a Heron” won the Foreword Review award as best poetry book of 2013 and the Literary Society of West Michigan has honored Jack for a lifetime of work in helping readers understand poetry. “Broken Symmetry” was named best poetry book of the year in 2006 by the Society of Midland Authors. “Losing Season” was recognized as best sports education book of the year in 2009 by the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island. 

Earlier books include “Against Elegies,” “The Same Ghost,” “Between,” “After School,” “Poems from ‘The Same Ghost’ and ‘Between,’” and “Outside the Center Ring.” Jack has published more than 300 poems in a host of magazines, and more than a dozen of Jack’s poems have been read on “Prairie Home Companion” in the last few years.

Jack has also published three textbooks, and he has edited several poetry collections, including the 2014 “Poetry in ... Michigan ... in Poetry.” 

Jack's next book of poetry, "Saint Peter and the Goldfinch," whose title poem Jack read at the 2017 retreat, will be published in 2019 by the Wayne State University Press.

For more information, check Jack’s own website, ridl.wordpress.com/, or see Jack's TEDx talk.

Inset photo by Mark Hillringhouse: inset dog is named Vivian

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