Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Friends and family have told me I should digitize my old photos before they all deteriorate or get lost etc.

I have tons of audio and videotapes to do the same thing to too, but that's costly. The photos don't cost anything since I already have a scanner. So I've started and came across some old photos of poets I love and thought I'd share them here.

The first is poet Ralph Dickey, also a great pianist, and who unfortunately passed way too young, only several years after this photo was taken at the University of Iowa around 1966.

This second photo is at a reading I invited these poets to do during my brief stint teaching at Trinity College in DC, and I'd guess was taken around 1970. It's Ray DiPalma with the beard, Simon Schuchat standing (still only a teenager at the time but already an accomplished poet), and Paula Novotnak. All still with us thankfully. I suspect the hair behind Ray is poet Steve Shrader's, unfortunately no longer with us.

This third and last one is James Haining, also long gone unfortunately. This was taken around 1972 when he was living in Baltimore.


Anonymous said...

Michael, how nice to see a photo of Ralph Dickey. He was a rather ethereal, sweet guy. He once gave me a bookcase he didn't need and helped me carry it in the snow to my apartment.
Ray's hair used to be so much longer:)

Lally said...

"Sweet" is right Suzanne. I still miss him. We got pretty close for a few years when he was living in upstate New York. Wish he was still around. But also grateful we still are.

AlamedaTom said...


Thanks so much for the photo of Ralph. You may recall that about 2 years ago I wrote a post on my blog about Ralph, and you added some excellent comments. If you or your readers want to revisit it, here it is:


~ Willy

AlamedaTom said...


Here is the correct link that I meant to show in the previous comment.

Plus, I had to re-do the link to the "Wooden Ships" MP3.


~ Willy

Robert Berner said...

Dear Lal--Thank you for posting that beautiful photo of Ralph Dickey. And thanks too to Alameda Tom for his posts. Ralph touched a lot of lives with his poems, his music, and his lovely, tortured self.
Ralph turned lots of people on to The Grateful Dead as well as CS&N, but he also loved and promoted the music of Keith Jarrett and of Bill Evans. He also loved one of your favorite books and mine, Black Elk Speaks.
We still miss him.
Bob B.

Lally said...

Tom, thanks for the reminder and the link, and Bob, yes, Ralph actually turned me on to the fiddle player that John Mayall used around the time Ralph was living in upstate New York and I used to go up and spend weekends at his place listening to our new LPs. We both were deep in Mayall at the time.
One of the first times Ralph and I got together after we became friends at Iowa was in the university's music room where we played the piano for each other. That sealed our connection. In fact, I did one of my first poetry readings in Iowa City as one half of a bill on which Ralph played piano. I felt extremely close to him for those precious years we were good friends.

Liza said...

Hi Michael,

I've been reading Lally's Alley for about a year now and have been too shy to write, but that picture of the reading at Trinity College pushed the "write him" button. That "brief stint" of yours at Trinity College coincided with my own brief stint there as a student, before I left (between the antiwar movement, the women's movement, and the poetry - who had time for school?) to move into Emery Place where I watched you, Lee, Ed Cox, and Terry Winch create Some of Us Press and publish some amazing chapbooks.

I am so glad that you are scanning and sharing your photos. The picture (I actually remember this reading!) brought back memories of the poets you brought to campus, your classes and the writing that you got us to do, the readings in town where you encouraged us to read our own work. By the way, I have a couple of photos of Caitlin and Miles (at 5 and 2 years old?) from the Emery Place days that I'll scan and send to you.

Thanks for Lally's Alley, and for keeping the faith.


Lally said...

Liza, It's great to hear from you, and I can't wait to see those photos. I hope you're well and happy. Feel free to e mail me or leave comments here anytime.