Jack Ridl’s latest collection, Saint Peter and the Goldfinch, will be released by Wayne State University Press in April, 2019. His collection Practicing to Walk Like a Heron (Wayne State University Press, 2013) was awarded the National Gold Medal for poetry. His collection Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press) was co- recipient of The Society of Midland Authors best book of poetry award for 2006. His Losing Season (CavanKerry Press) was named the best sports book of the year for 2009 by The Institute for International Sport, and The Boston Globe named it one of the five best books about sports. In 2017 it was developed into a Readers Theater work.
Winner of The Gary Gildner Prize for Poetry, Jack has been featured on public radio (“It’s Only a Game with Bill Littlefield,” “The Story with Dick Gordon,” and Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”) Then Poet Laureate Billy Collins selected his Against Elegies for The Center for Book Arts Chapbook Award. They read together with Sharon Dolin in NYC at Christmas after 9/11. He and Peter Schakel are co- authors of Approaching Poetry and Approaching Literature, and editors of 250 Poems, all from Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. With William Olsen he edited Poetry in Michigan in Poetry (New Issues Press). Jack’s poetry has been nominated for 19 Pushcart Prizes.
He has done readings in many venues including being invited to read at the international Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, and was one of twelve people in the arts from around the U.S. invited to the Fetzer Institute for their first conference on compassion and forgiveness. In 2014, Jack received the “Talent Award” from the Literacy Society of West Michigan for his “lifetime of work for poetry literacy,” and The Poetry Society of Michigan named him “Honorary Chancellor,” only the second poet so honored. After the presidential election in 2016 he started the “In Time Project,” each Thursday sending out a commentary and poem. Christian Zaschke, the NYC based U.S. correspondent for the leading German Newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, wrote a feature about his work. Jack and his wife Julie founded the visiting writers series at Hope College where he taught for 37 years. The students named him both their Outstanding Professor and Favorite Professor, and in 1996 The Carnegie (CASE) Foundation named him Michigan Professor of the Year. Nine of his students are included in the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. More than 85 of Jack’s students have earned an MFA degree and more than 90 are published authors, several of whom have received First Book Awards, national honors.
In retirement Jack conducts a variety of writing workshops, welcomes readings, holds one on one sessions, etc. For further information about Jack and these activities, check out his website
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of the award-winning novel In the Context of Love, a story about one woman’s need to tell her truth without shame.
2017 New Apple Book Awards Official Selection
2016 Sarton Women’s Fiction Finalist
2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist
2016 Readers’ Favorite Finalist
2016 USA Book News Best Book Finalist
“…at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River,and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters