Online Poetry Helps Those Dealing With Alzheimer's

Saturday, May 8, 2010 Mental Health News J E 4

WATERTOWN, Mass., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alzheimer's Association has given people dealing with the disease a new voice with an online poetry project. The Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter hosts, a collection of poetry about Alzheimer's. Contributors range in age from teens to those in their 70s, from children to grandchildren, spouses and siblings.

"People affected by this disease manage their feelings in all kinds of ways, and writing can be a wonderful outlet," said Betsy Fitzgerald-Campbell, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association. A novelist and poet herself, as well as editor for the Alzheimer's Association, MA/NH newsletter, Fitzgerald-Campbell found herself the recipient of numerous poems from caregivers and family members. "We wanted to create a place for those poems and to also create a community online for people who find comfort and inspiration in poetry."

Included in the Mindset Poetry collection is a contribution from the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, a program created by nationally-recognized poet Glary Glazner of Brooklyn, NY. Glazner also serves as a member of the advisory committee for Mindset Poetry. In addition, poems reprinted with permission from "Beyond Forgetting" a well-regarded published collection edited by Holly J. Hughes are also included.  However, most of the poets have not been published before, said Fitzgerald-Campbell.

"Creative expression is a powerful force, and for some people it can be intimidating to share their feelings. Mindset Poetry is a place where the writers know that they are with kindred spirits," she said. "I've been moved by the poems and my interactions with the poets. These are people who have lived with the disease that steals memory, and eventually lives. The poems reflect all that turmoil in their lives; but some read as love stories as well."

Though created by the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, it is open to everyone and contributors come from across the country. Fitzgerald-Campbell serves as editor, and the advisory committee was instrumental in launching the online project. An online submission form can be found at the site.

The Alzheimer's Association provides education and support for those dealing with Alzheimer's and is the leading non-profit funder of research into causes, cures and an eventual treatment for Alzheimer's.  Offices are located in Watertown, Raynham, Springfield and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter



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