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Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary with Former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, and “Adventures in Poetry”

Billy Collins
Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation/Bill Hayes
Billy Collins

Indian River County - Sunday October 1, 2023: Former U. S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation with “Adventures in Poetry” on Thursday, November 2, 2023, with two events in one day. “We are delighted to have reached this milestone anniversary,” remarked Jacque Jacobs, LRJF President. “Our local and all-volunteer Board wanted to bring the community a chance to enjoy one of our nations’ highest acclaimed poets.”

The public is invited to join us for this unique opportunity on Thursday, November 2, at one or both events celebrating “Adventures in Poetry” with Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate. First, a whimsical luncheon at Quail Valley River Club features Billy Collins as guest speaker. That evening, “Adventures in Poetry” with Billy Collins will be held at the Community Church of Vero Beach and includes a question and answer session followed by book signings. Tickets are available at

Over the years Billy Collins has highlighted the work of Laura (Riding) Jackson. Specifically, Laura’s poem “Take hands” was included in his series “Poetry in Motion” for the NYC subways and buses. He has also recognized B.H. Fairchild and John Balaban, the featured poets at LRJF’s Poetry BBQ scheduled on April 13, 2024.

LRJF is thankful to all our sponsors for their help in bringing these prestigious events to Vero Beach. “We are elated that the community has offered such astounding support for our key speaker event in November,” added Sara Wilson, LRJF Executive Director. To date, sponsors include Professional Management Inc. (Joanne Mitchell), Marie Stiefel, Dee Patberg, Deming Holleran, Cynthia Callandar. Larry Salustro, Pam Proctor and Community Church of Vero Beach.

The mission of LRJF is to preserve a feature of Florida history in the author Laura (Riding) Jackson’s historic Florida “cracker-style” home, and to maintain the Florida native plant garden which surrounds it at the Mueller Campus of Indian River State College in Vero Beach. In addition, the Foundation advances her legacy by nurturing writers in the community through a series of literary offerings including adult and teen writers’ groups, summer camps, workshops, and poetry festivals. Annually each Spring, LRJF hosts a Poetry and Barbeque Festival featuring guest poets and all southern barbeque.

LRJF is dedicated to preserving the author’s home and nurturing writers of all ages through a series of literary offerings including writers’ groups, summer camps, workshops, and poetry festivals.  The Foundation honors writer Laura (Riding) Jackson’s belief in the promise of language by creating community through the literary arts.

The author’s Florida cracker-style home is located next to Brackett Library on Mueller Campus of IRSC in Vero Beach. The historic house is open for tours on weekends during November—May as well as by appointment.

LRJF has a Writing Center at 1914 14th Avenue in Vero Beach where we host writers’ groups, poetry readings, teen and adult writing workshops, and our LRJF gift shop. The annual Poetry and Barbeque Event celebrates National Poetry Month each April.