Readings, writing program slated for caregivers

The Southern Ohio Museum and All Saints’ Episcopal Church are sponsoring a literary reading by two award-winning Appalachian authors, Richard Hague and Pauletta Hansel, at 7 p.m. April 19 at The Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center, 825 Gallia Street in Portsmouth. The event is free and open to the public.

Hague is a native of Steubenville, and author of 14 collections of poetry. He will read from “Studied Days: Poems Early and Late in Appalachia,” recounting his days and nights in the hardscrabble landscape of an Appalachia stretching from Steubenville to Troublesome Creek, Ky.

Michael Maloney, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, has said of the book, “Hague weaves a thrilling tapestry of his life along the upper Ohio River and his experiences of other places in rural and urban Appalachia is a truly masterful collection you do not want to miss.” Hague is Writer-in-Residence at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky.

Hansel, Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate, is originally from Appalachian Kentucky. She will read from “Palindrome,” poems and memoir written in response to her mother’s dementia.

Poet and nurse Jeanne Bryner says, “Palindrome holds the real story of what hangs in dementia’s closet and how far the heart’s suitcase can travel. We bear witness to how carefully she braids touch and humor and remembrance to restitch love’s many shawl and blankets.” Hansel is managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative.

Hansel is also leading Expressing Our Lives, a writing workshop sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association for caregivers of persons with dementia. The workshop is 1 to 3 p.m. April 19 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 610 Fourth Street in Portsmouth.In addition, Melissa Dever, LSW, Southeastern Ohio branch manager of the Alzheimer’s Association, and Shawnee State University’s occupational therapy students will lead a group for those affected with dementia in activities and social engagement. This will allow caregivers to attend the workshop, while knowing their loved one is safe and being engaged in activities in conjunction with their writing workshop.

The workshop is free, but registration required. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900 or visit