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'About four years ago I had the great pleasure to spend four days with Peter Steele, SJ while he was at Georgetown. Subsequently I wrote a profile of him that was published in America Magazine, the US Jesuits' equivalent to Eureka Street.
Hearing that he had died, I went back to those interviews, hours and hours we spent on things like the first time he read Billy Collins ('Goodness, gracious, this man is my friend,' he thought to himself), growing up in Perth, unexpected blessings ('One of the blessings of my life has been the blessing of deep friendship with either agnostics or atheists'), and the never-ending catalogue of characters and words that fascinated and delighted him.
Peter had already been diagnosed with cancer when we met. Though he showed absolutely no sign of it, I felt his poems had begun to dwell more on mortality than earlier collections, and I sought his thoughts on not only his poetry but his sense of life and death.
Most of that material never got published. (As my editors were fond of telling me, I did research as though I were writing a 30,000 word essay when in fact I could only present 2500 words.) And so I offer here a few more clippings of this good man. (Author's introduction)