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The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

Poetry reading celebrates life of former professor

Celebrating the first day of spring, English and history majors gathered beneath the H.P. Jones memorial tree for the Ides of March Poetry Reading. Students and faculty recited poems in memory of former history professor Jones.

During the 1990s, Jones started the Ides of March Poetry Reading to spread appreciation for the arts across ULM’s campus. After he passed away in 2013, Phi Alpha Theta—the Honors History Society—took over Jones’ event to continue his legacy. In 2019, Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Alpha Theta began to host the Ides of March Poetry Reading as a joint event.

“Sigma Tau Delta, foremostly, wants to bolster an appreciation for the written word—whether that is poetry, or otherwise,” Sigma Tau Delta President Mallory Kaul said. “While the Ides of March is hosted by the history department, we love to unite the different aspects of the arts with a love of reading. And while I never met him, I think Dr. Jones would agree.”

Attendees of the event are free to share their chosen poem without following any themes or guidelines. This allows for the listening and appreciation of others’ favorite verses.

“Any participant at the Ides of March gathering can share any poem they want, whether by themselves or someone else,” English professor Patrick Morgan said. “It’s a great way to hear voices you’ve never heard before because everyone comes to poetry in their own way, seeking poems that resonate with their own lives.”

Some of the poems read at this year’s Ides of March included “The Memory” by Maya Angelou, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, “Latin and Soul” by Victor Hernández Cruz and “When I Heard the Leaven’s Astronomer” by Walt Whitman.

“I came to the Ides of March because I love to read poetry,” junior English major Jazmin Gutierrez said. “I also enjoy listening to poetry, so it seemed like the perfect event for me.”

Since its beginning, the Ides of March Poetry Reading has brought together ULM through the love many students and faculty held for Jones. Even 11 years after his death, the Ides of March continues to unite our campus through the memories shared of the beloved professor.

“Not only does this event bring together students, faculty, and alumni, but it also honors the memory and traditions implanted by the deeply missed Dr. H.P. Jones,” Kaul said. “He was a beloved professor of history and keeping this annual event alive means everything to the humanities.”


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