At some point in all of our academic experiences poetry enters the fold. For some it’s a blessing, others a curse, but for me it became a curiosity. And then as a pup of an undergrad at Loyola some 20 years ago, I met and had the privilege of being taught by Ralph Adamo, whose classes offered a quiet exploration into language, form and intent.
Until that point in my life I’d always considered poetry melodramatic and esoteric, if not silly. The calm focus Ralph navigated the material made the journey one of intrigue and wonder. I began to really enjoy and even write (gasp!) poetry. Once he even held a class at Carrollton Station, which to any undergrad is a bonus.
Over the last two decades we’ve kept in touch intermittently, and then one recent almost-drizzly evening as I stood in my driveway, end-of-day beverage in hand, likely disciplining one of my brood, Ralph happened to pass by walking his dog. In a very New Orleans moment, someone I hadn’t seen in so long just — appears. And we picked right up where we’d left off, and of course to prolong that magic the Crescent City can conjure, turns out he (now an English professor at Xavier) and his family had recently moved into the neighborhood just around the corner. So our dialogue kept unraveling and here we are: