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Acclaimed poet Gregory Orr will present at the 21st annual Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading the evening of April 22, 2018, in Hodson Hall on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus.
Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY)
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund
5801 Smith Avenue, Ste. 400
Baltimore, MD 21209
Gregory Orr is the author of 11 collections of poetry. His most recent volumes include The River Inside the River, How Beautiful The Beloved, and Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved. His memoir, The Blessing, was chosen by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the 50 best nonfiction books of 2002. Orr has received many awards and fellowships, including an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA Fellowships, and a Rockefeller Fellowship at the Institute for the Study of Culture and Violence.
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund memorializes CTY alumnus Joshua Ringel and his parents, Mel and Barbara, supporting a free annual poetry reading in Baltimore for both lovers of poetry, and those who wish to learn to love it as Joshua did.
Josh's teacher, the renowned poet Kenneth Koch, gave the inaugural Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading in 1998.
Since then, many other distinguished poets, including Billy Collins, John Ashbery, Sharon Olds, and Kevin Young, have lent their voices to this remarkable series. A gift by Josh's father, Mel Ringel, in 2004 created an endowment at Johns Hopkins, with a goal of sustaining the Reading in perpetuity.
On October 27, 1996, Joshua Ringel died in a motorcycle accident in the beautiful countryside near Madrid. In 1998, Barbara, Mel, and Susannah Ringel established the Joshua Ringel Memorial Readings. On December 3, 2002, at age 66, Barbara died of thyroid cancer. The poetry readings were her dream. Now they are a memorial to her, Josh, and Mel, who died on February 28, 2017.
Josh was born in Baltimore on December 20, 1968. His early zest for learning language, literature, history, chess, and wrestling, was nurtured during his twelve years at Gilman School. While in middle school, Josh was also a student at the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins.
Except for a semester studying Spanish in Seville, and summers in Baltimore, he lived in Manhattan for most of 1987-1994. He majored in Spanish Language and Literature at Columbia and was fluent in Spanish when he earned his BA in 1992. Josh was proud that Kenneth Koch accepted him as a student of poetry writing. He also studied tap dancing, sang in a gospel singing group and was a DJ of "Blues and Bach" at Columbia's WKCR. Until 1994 he lived in and enjoyed New York by working as a desk attendant at Barnard College. The workers of Local 2110 elected him Shop Steward.
In 1994, Josh moved to Alcobendas, Spain, to teach English to children at the Lambda School. There, too, he did more--dancing at the best clubs in Madrid, running the 1995 Madrid Marathon and motorcycling. Josh's exuberance infected his students. They paid him their ultimate compliment--a trophy labeled, "Al Profe Mas Guay" (Cool).
Contributions are welcome to support the Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund. To donate online, enter your gift in the Amount box, and select "Joshua Ringel Memorial Poetry Series" in the gift designation field.
Contributions and mailing list additions may also be sent directly to:
The Johns Hopkins University
Center for Talented Youth
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 64710
Baltimore, MD 21264