Outside the Center Ring

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 in Poetry

by Jack Ridl Pudding House Publications, 2006 Jack Ridl has long been one of my favorite poets. And more amazing, I know him. What I mean by that is that he lives in the same community I do, his daughter and my daughter are best friends, we’ve enjoyed dinner together, and I’ve heard him read his poetry on many occasions. I know students he has guided, mentored, encouraged. What I’m saying is that, in a small mid-western town, to have a working poet in our midst, going about his business, practicing his art, sharing poems and good words regularly — seems a small, but blessed miracle. My husband loves Jack Ridl’s poetry too — and towards poetry he does not often gravitate. Jack’s collection entitled Losing Season awakened him to poetry’s possibilities. “Buzz” Ridl, Jack’s father, was head coach of the University of Pittsburgh for many a season. And...

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Hobo Signs

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 in Poetry

by Jackie Bartley thirdstone press, 2004 I’m taking a private poetry class (actually it is just finishing) with poet Jackie Bartley. I heard about her from Jack Ridl – another poet whose most recent publication I will also review. I like Jackie’s poetry. It Juses both sides of her brain – left and right. This in part because Bartley drawn initially to the sciences, earning a BS in Biology and a BS in Medical Technology. For fifteen years she worded as a Medical Technologist, before falling in love with poetry. Her MFA completed in 1988 – she now weaves the scientific, the accurate and precise into her poems. One of our assignments was to write ekphrastik poetry – poetry that describes a work of art. It could written in response to something as famous as a Bernini sculpture or an Edward Hopper painting. Or it could poetry written in...

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broken symmetry poetry by Jack Ridl

Posted on Jul 10, 2015 in Good Books, Poetry

Wayne State University Press, 2006 This has become my new favorite Jack Ridl book of poetry.  I like everything about it.  The poems, some of them collected from his other books, the layout, paper and print and most of all the painting on the cover which I happen to know is by his daughter Meridith.  It matches the mood of this collection perfectly.  I saw work when it was hung at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and recently discovered that it now hangs in the home of a friend.) Jack Ridl’s poems are often stories so they should be heard or read in their entirety, but let me entice you with a few succulent phrases: from  After Reading Dom John Chapman, Benedictine Abbot / “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.” My prayers will sit on the backs of bedraggled donkeys, in the sidecars of Harleys, in the...

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