Special Collections 
	and Archives

CHARLES P. RIES COLLECTION

Biographical Note:

Charles P. Ries was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1952, the son of Leo and Ann Ries. He attended South High School and received his degree from the University Wisconsin – Madison. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and poetry reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications. He has received four Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing.  He was awarded the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association “Jade Ring” Award for humorous poetry.  He is the former poetry editor for Word Riot, ESC!,  and Pass Port Journal.  He is also a former board member of the Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, and served on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission.

Ries began writing relatively late in life. As he would say, “I turned forty-five and writing grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go.” He quickly established himself as a major voice within the independent small press. Beginning with poetry, he soon moved to other forms, including short stories, poetry reviews, interviews, articles, and essays. During this time he also completed two novels. Some in the small press called him ubiquitous as from 1998 to 2008 his work seemed to appear everywhere.  In 2009 he all but stopped writing saying, “I wrote myself out. I am waiting for more to come.”

Ries often refers to his work as “a mash-up of the secular and the spiritual, the ordinary and the mystical.” He readily admits his early life experiences had a strong influence on his creative writing and what he hoped to accomplish through it. Ries grew up in a very devout Catholic family.  Of his six siblings, five entered the convent or seminary. It was this early and deep immersion into Catholicism that would later fuel his own search for God. After college he lived in London and North Africa where he studied the mystical teachings of Islam called Sufism. In 1989 he worked with the Dalai Lama on a program that brought American religious leaders and psychotherapists together for a weeklong dialogue. It was during this same week that the Dalai Lama was awarded his Nobel Peace Prize. Ries has done extensive work with men’s groups and worked with a Jungian psychotherapist for over five years during which time he recorded five hundred dreams and learned to find the meanings in small things. He is a third degree Reiki healer, and has received advanced yoga training.

Ries currently works at Marquette University and is Senior Director of Development Design and Innovation in University Advancement.  He has two daughters, Catherine and Isabel.

Inventories:

 

Series 1

Published Poems, Short Stories, and Letters
Arranged alphabetically by title of the publication, thereunder listing the title of Ries' contribution to the publication. All entries are complete copies of the journal or magazine.

Series 2

Radio Interviews and Audio Recordings
Arranged alphabetically by the name of the event or program. The radio interviews with Ries, and an assortment of poetry readings featuring Ries, are recorded on compact discs.

Separation Note

A novel and several compilations of Ries' poetry are cataloged within MARQCAT and preserved in the "MU Writes Collection" in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives.

Ask an Archivist