"'Hem, I want you to keep this jar of opium and give it to Dunning only when he needs it.'"

Detroit-born poet Ralph Cheever Dunning (1878-1930) was perhaps better known in 1920s Paris for his odd personality then any of his published works. Seemingly unconcerned with recognition and completely without ambition, he was primarily encouraged to allow his writing into the public eye by Ezra Pound -- one of the few people, in fact, who ever managed to elicit a conversation out of him. Although what was printed of Dunning's work won him a certain degree of acclaim, including Poetry's Helen Haire Nevinson Prize in 1925, his name faded largely into obscurity following his death from tuberculosis (and malnourishment) at the age of 52.