Johns Hopkins University - Center for Talented Youth (CTY)
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund
5801 Smith Ave, Ste 400
Baltimore, MD 21209
“One of the most extraordinarily innovative poets writing today.” — Los Angeles Times
Since winning the 1974 National Book Award for her first collection, Presentation Piece, Marilyn Hacker has been, in the words of Julia Alvarez, “one of our best singers—by turns elegiac and fierce, sweet and witty. With each new collection her voice grows richer, more resonant, sorrowing and lovely.”
Her numerous poetry collections include Going Back to the River, Winter Numbers, Desperanto, Names, and A Stranger’s Mirror. Called a “radical formalist,” Hacker distinguishes her poetry through her masterful use of poetic forms that transcend geography and time, as she meditates on decidedly contemporary concerns such as AIDS, gay marriage, geopolitics, and modern city life in New York and Paris.
Marilyn Hacker is the recipient of the National Book Award, The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Lambda Literary Award, among others. Her translations include works by Marie Etienne, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, and Claire Malroux and received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Marilyn Hacker’s work has been recognized by grants from the Guggenheim and Ingrid Merril Foundations, and her essays have been collected in a volume entitled Unauthorized Voices: Essays on Poets and Poetry. She currently lives in Paris.
Image: Courtesy Blue Flower Arts.
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund memorializes CTY alumnus Joshua Ringel and his mother, 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 as well as Josh.
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 Other Amount box, select "Other" in the gift designation field, and type the Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund in the Other Designation box.
For more information on how you can help or be added to the Ringel mailing list, you can email us or call (410) 735-6009.
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