Neale Adams

Steve Rodefer, a poet and teacher, died in Paris almost five years ago. The College only learned of this last week -- the information came from Dewitt Henry who told me and I told the Alumni Office.

Steve had a very full career. He taught in many colleges and universities, published several books of poems, reviews and other pieces, and fathered four sons. At Amherst he played tennis, soccer, and squash, and majored in English.

Anyone who wants to share memories of Steve should send them to Bob Holmes ( for the class website. If you have knowledge of Steve's recent years and can help with the In Memory piece, please contact me.

It is sad to hear of Steve's death, and also that the college and most of us apparently lost track of him.

Chris von Rosenvinge


I am saddened by the loss of Steve, who was one of the first classmates I met at Amherst and was always friendly to me. He struck me as sensual, mysterious and playful, with remarkable eyes. I always think of him when reading E.E. Cummings' lines:

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death

Steve’s estate maintains an extensive website at  The page at (be sure to see the Commentary on Stephen Rodefer’s Work at the end of the page) gives an account of Steve’s exceptional career. Sic transit….


P.S. The college lost track of Steve because he requested no contact. When we were editing the 50th Reunion eBook, the college sent me a list of classmates who asked not to be contacted by the college. I was tempted to contact some of them on the premise that the class was not synonymous with the college, but I already had my work cut out for me. I had other connections with one classmate on the list and might have invoked them, but I had an inkling of the personal reasons that motivated his request and chose to honor his privacy.