Ray Dademo

Middlesex College Professor, Ray Dademo

As the acting associate chairperson of Middlesex College’s English department, professor Ray Dademo has seen his fair share of significant pieces of literature. In fact, as a writer, he views education as a way to stay inspired. 

Dademo is currently writing a book, a collection of essays, that is 15 years in the making. “It’s a project that has often taken a backseat, but last year, I made a conscious effort during COVID to finish those essays. The essays reflect upon being young and being in love for the first time,” he said.

“I am planning to finish it by the end of this year. The book is about the way young love causes us to lose objectivity and sort of softens our brains. When you’re in love for the first time, love can easily become an obsession,” Dademo said. “Obsessions tend to isolate people; they tend to keep them from thinking clearly.”

Dademo said, “It was more than therapy, or I should say, a kind of escape during a pandemic. It was kind of a way of escaping and tuning out the world, and kind of living in memory for a year.”

Dademo creates opportunities for students to inject themselves and their creativity into their work through essays and stories while connecting to current events. 

He’s currently reading “Low Country” by Jane Nicole Jones, a former classmate of his while at Columbia University. 

He said, “It's a wonderful southern memoir about rolling up in the South and being entrenched in myths about the place. It makes an excellent coherent argument about how people are informed by location.”

Dademo said the book he started writing years ago differs from the piece he’s working on now because of his growth and style. 

“That's something I always tell my students is - sometimes the story we want to tell right now may not be ready. You may develop a totally different perspective on this event a year from now or five years from now,” said Dademo.

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