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Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading

2020 Reading

The Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading scheduled to take place on April 19 has been canceled in light of evolving public health concerns about the global COVID-19 epidemic.

April 19, 2020

Dear Friends of the Joshua Ringel Memorial Poetry Reading,

I hope this message finds you all safe and well. I wish we were gathering to hear Naomi Shihab Nye tonight, as we had planned, for the 23rd Reading. I look forward to seeing you next year, when we are on the other side of this terrible pandemic.

Recordings can't substitute for a live event, but please explore the links below, to Naomi Shihab Nye reading two of her poems, followed by an assortment of brief treats from some of our past poets, at our fingertips thanks to YouTube.

Please be well and stay tuned. Better times are ahead.

Susannah Ringel and the CTY Joshua Ringel Poetry Team

2020 Poet – Naomi Shihab Nye

Picture of Naomi Shihab Nye, poet for Joshua Ringel event

Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 40 years traveling the country and the world to lead writing workshops and inspire students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her Palestinian-American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow (Library of Congress). Her accolades include a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, the Robert Creeley Prize, and "The Betty Prize" from Poets House for service to poetry, as well as numerous honors for her children’s literature, including two Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards. In 2011, Nye won the Golden Rose Award from the New England Poetry Club, the oldest poetry reading series in the country. Her work has been presented on National Public Radio on A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer’s Almanac. She has been featured on two PBS poetry specials, including “The Language of Life with Bill Moyers,” and has also appeared on NOW with Bill Moyers. She has been affiliated with The Michener Center for writers at the University of Texas at Austin for 20 years and has been the poetry editor at The Texas Observer for 20 years. In 2019, she was named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Nye is currently a Professor of Creative Writing – Poetry at Texas State University.

About the Series

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.

Learn more about Joshua Ringel.

Series Poets

Support The Fund

Contributions are welcome to support the Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund.

Donate Now

To be added to the Ringel mailing list, email us, like us on Facebook, or send a note with your address directly to:

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY)
The Joshua Ringel Memorial Fund
McAuley Hall
5801 Smith Avenue, Ste. 400
Baltimore, MD 21209