Sunday, January 06, 2008

Alzheimer's Poetry Project at the Bowery Poetry Club

Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, Lisa Starr and New York Foundation for the Arts Poetry Fellows, Kristin Prevallet and Betsy Andrews give a benefit reading for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project.

On Monday, Jan. 7th, 2008 from 7 to 9pm at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery NY, NY 10012. The event is free. For more info call 212-614-0505

Guests of honor will be members of the Early Stage Alzheimer's Support Group from NYUs Silberstein Institute. The group facilitated by Tricia Spoto and Ursula Auclair meets once a week and often writes and reads poetry as a support group for people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. To find out more about the group contact Ms. Spoto at:

The Alzheimer's Poetry Project’s (APP) mission is to improve the quality of life of people living with Alzheimer’s disease, their family members and the health care workers who serve them. The APP is based on a simple idea, to read poems to people living with Alzheimer's disease that they might have learned as children. APP finds, even in the late stages of the disease, that people can remember words and lines from poems from their youth. Reciting poetry helps spark memories. APP brings professional quality, recited poetry to the undeserved population of people living with Alzheimer’s disease. APP also brings students into facilities to work with people living with Alzheimer's disease.

In June of 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) listed the APP as a “best practice” for the NEA Aging and the Arts Initiative. APP was one of twenty groups in the nation to receive this distinction. APP has held 150 programming sessions at 75 facilities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington DC, serving over 9,500 people living with Alzheimer's disease.

Lisa Starr is a mother, innkeeper, basketball coach, and also the new Poet Laureate of Rhode Island. A champion of fun, free speech and the importance of listening, Starr founded and directs the Block Island Poetry Project, an annual celebration of the written and spoken word. She has two collections of poems: Days of Dogs and Driftwood (1993) and This Place Here (2001). She is currently working on another collection of poetry and a novel.

Kristin Prevallet is a 2007 New York Foundation on the Arts (NYFA) poetry fellow. She is a poet and essayist who currently lives and works in New York City. She is the author of I, Afterlife: Essay in Mourning Time and A Helen Adam Reader. In her academic life, she has taught at Bard College, New York University, and currently at the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University in Queens. She has also lectured and performed frequently at the Jack Kerouac School at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

Betsy Andrews is a 2007 NYFA poetry fellow. Her book New Jersey was selected for the 2007 Brittingham Prize in poetry. She is the author of She-Devil and In Trouble. Her poems, essays, and review have appeared widely in publications ranging from PRACTICE to the Yemeni newspaper Culture.

In July of 2007, the Arizona Chapter of the APP was featured on Channel 12 News NBC’s Arizona affiliate. You can view the clip on U Tube at

The APP has been featured on NBC’s “Today” show, NPR’s “Weekend Edition”, Voice of America And New Zealand National Radio, as well as in many regional television, radio, and print media accounts. These broadcasts and stories have reached over 20 million people and helped to keep the issue of quality innovative care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the public’s mind.

The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project is partially funded by New York City Department of Culture, New York State Council on the Arts, the Society for Arts and Health Care
and is a project of Bowery Arts and Science.