This blog will be a place to post poetry written by people living with Alzheimer's disease. We will focus on poetry that is created as part of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project. We will post information and news about dementia. We hope this blog is of use to the family members who have a loved one with dementia.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lion's Face New Opera by Elena Langer and Glyn Maxwell

Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

The Guardian has a wonderful account by poet Glyn Maxwell on: "How do you write an opera about dementia?"

He writes, "The more I learned, the better the poems became. The Institute of Psychiatry in south London's Denmark Hill opened its doors to Elena and me. We talked to scientists and researchers, saw x-rays and brain scans. We met care-givers, psychologists, music and drama therapists. We saw good care homes where we'd still never want to go, and poor care homes that we tried not to think too much about."

Click here for the full article-

Here is the website for Lion's Face

Friday, May 21, 2010

More on Lee Chan-dong's film, "Poetry."


Here is a clip from Maggie Lee's review of the film in the Hollywood Reporter,

"Bottom Line: A disturbingly ambivalent view on art's relation to life and death.

CANNES -- Rhyming couplets, rather than religion, is the opium of an old lady beset by Alzheimer's and a family crisis in Lee Chan-dong's companion piece to "Secret Sunshine." While both films feature maternal figures whose lives are derailed by tragedies they cannot help, "Poetry's" tone and emotions are so painfully muted, its style so elliptical and Lee's exploration of the function of art in a morally vacuous society so ambivalent that it makes for extremely difficult and challenging viewing."

read the full review here

Poetry is now being touted as a possible winner of the Golden Palm award!
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune calls the film one of his favorites and says, "The South Korean writer-director's protagonist is exceptionally rich: a 60ish grandmother coping with financial difficulties and the early stages of Alzheimer's."

More reviews on the film: Financial Times

Chicago Tribune

Huffington Poet

ABC News

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Mother's Keeper

Nancy Gerber writes, "When my mother told me she'd had three children, at first I thought, 'There goes the Alzheimer's again.' But then I remembered: my father had badly wanted three children, and in between my birth and my brother's, there had been a miscarriage. A lost child.

As my mother's ability to relate to the world around her became more and more fragmented, I would look to these gleanings as a way to form some kind of connection between us to replace what was rapidly slipping away. Even so, I was not really comforted by what I learned from the delusions, for I wanted all of my mother, not just what was left of her memory."

Gerber's story My Mother's Keeper, is a thoughtfully written, powerful account of her experience of the early stages of her mother's dementia.

I recommend this book to anyone seeking to cope with the acknowledgment that a loved one has Alzheimer's or related dementia. Along with Gerber's prose are photographs by Joan and John Digby that highlight the story. You may find out more about the book by writing:

The Feral Press
P.O. Box 358
Oyster Bay, New York, 11771


Nancy Gerber is a mother, daughter, and writer with a doctorate in English from Rutgers University. She is the author of two books: Portrait of the Mother-Artist: Class and Creativity in Contemporary American Fiction (Lexington, 2003) and Losing a Life: A Daughter's Memoir of Caregiving (Hamilton, 2005). Currently she is enrolled in an analytic training program at the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, New Jersey.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Alzheimer's Poetry Project in Philadelphia

Held our third training session in Philadelphia last week and one of the poets Sojourner Ahebee, wrote about the experience in her blog.

"Participating in the Alzheimer's Poetry Project allowed me to discover another way of encouraging my grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, to be creative. She loves this very long poem by Langston Hughes called The Negro Mother. I am so impressed by how much of it she has remembered and she beams when she recites it."

Here is a link to the full post-

It was great working the Philadelphia poets including her mother!
Happy Mother's Day!