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Ringel Poets

2011 Poet -- Carolyn Forché

"Carolyn Forché shows how people survive in an unbearable world." -- Daina Savage

Known as a "poet of witness," Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. In 1977, she received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to travel to El Salvador, where she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book, The Country Between Us, received the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets. In 1994, her third book of poetry, The Angel of History, was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her fourth book of poems, Blue Hour, was published by HarperCollins in Spring 2003.

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Previous Ringel Memorial Poets

2010 -- Mark Doty, the only American poet to have won Great Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize, is the author of six books of poems. In 2008, Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, was published, and won the National Book Award for 2008. Among his many awards are two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.
2009 -- "Tender, sassy, and just plain cool," says former Ringel Poet Billy Collins about 2009's poet selection, Kevin Young. Young is widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation.
( Kevin Young NPR Review l Lehrer New Hour Video )
Linda Pastan
Credit: Margaretta K. Mitchell
2008 -- Linda Pastan was born in New York City, graduated from Radcliffe College and received an MA from Brandeis University. Her awards include the Dylan Thomas Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Di Castagnola Award (Poetry Society of America), the Bess Hokin Prize (Poetry Magazine), the Maurice English Award, the Charity Randall Citation of the International Poetry Forum, and the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize. She was a recipient of a Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award. PM/AM and Carnival Evening were nominees for the National Book Award and The Imperfect Paradise was a nominee for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995 and was on the staff of the Breadloaf Writers Conference for twenty years. She lives in Potomac, Maryland.

2007 -- Billy Collins A standing ovation for a poet? It happened Sunday evening, May 13, when 800 people not only gave Billy Collins a standing O, but also applauded after each of his poems. Collins was a huge hit as the guest poet to mark the 10th anniversary of The Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading, and you can read his insightful interview conducted with Teachers & Writers magazine after the event.

2006 -- Edward Hirsch Poet Edward Hirsch opened the floor for a wide-ranging question and answer session after his 2006 Ringel reading. This session, published in Teachers & Writers Fall 2006 issue, offered keen insights into poetry "as both an intimate and universal act."

2005 -- Galway Kinnell

2004 -- Li-Young Lee

2003 -- Sharon Olds

2002 -- John Ashbery

2001 -- Yusef Komunyakaa

2000 -- Grace Paley

1999 -- Robert Pinsky

1998 -- Kenneth Koch