Madison Poet Laureate, Fabu Carter Brisco, performing her poem "Southern Love" at the Overture Center for the Arts as part of Alzheimer's Poetry Day in Madison, Wisconsin.

Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Poets


APP MN Director, Poet, Zoe Bird
Zoë Bird is a poet, editor, teaching artist, COMPAS roster artist and a mentor and consultant in the field of arts and aging. A poet-in-residence with the APP since 2006, Bird started APP-MN in 2012 along with Rachel Moritz, and with the guidance of international APP founder and director Gary Glazner, after moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis. Since then, APP-MN has grown to accommodate four poets-in-residence, who have collaborated with other teaching artists in visual art, storytelling, music, theater, and video; sustained residencies, trainings, and workshops at myriad sites and conferences around Minnesota; been awarded multiple grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council; featured on MPR; hosted a Poetry Party at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and helped make hundreds of elder poets’ voices heard. Bird’s poems have appeared in numerous art installations and multimedia collaborations as well as journals and anthologies. She co-organized and co-hosted monthly Open Poetry and Poets for Peace readings in Santa Fe, New Mexico for five and seven years, and now enjoys performing with writers and artists of all stripes in the Twin Cities.

Poet, Minnesota, Rachel Moritz
Rachel Moritz has been leading groups with Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota since 2012. She believes in the power of poetry to inspire, build community, and carry the wisdom of individual voices. She is the author of the poetry collections, Sweet Velocity (Lost Roads Press, 2017) and Borrowed Wave (Kore Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. Rachel also teaches writing as a COMPAS roster artist and through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

Poet, Minnesota, Julie Landsman
Julie fell in love with poetry at an early age and has continued to write and publish poems into her seventies. She has taught poetry writing at The Loft, as a writer in the schools for grades 1-12 and at Homewood Studios in Minneapolis. She believes that stories and images are what connect us to each other. She enjoys writers of all ages and combines that joy with her passion for being with those who want to write, want to share their words, surprise with their perceptions of the world. Julie is the author of three books of creative nonfiction: Basic Needs: A Year with Street Kids in a City School (Milkweed Editions, 1993) A White Teacher Talks About Race (Rowman and Littlefield 2001) and Growing Up White (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008. She is also the editor of many collections of essays stories and poems, the most recent being Voices for Diversity and Social Justice, A Literary Education Reader, with Paul Gorski and Rosanna Salcedo, (Rowman and Littlefield 2015). 

Poet, Minnesota, Diane Jarvenpa
Diane Jarvenpa is poet, singer-songwriter, guitarist and kantele player (Finnish folk harp). She is the author of Divining the Landscape  (New Rivers Press), Ancient Wonders, the Modern World (Red Dragonfly Press) and The Tender Wild Things (New Rivers Press) which received the Midwest Independent Publishers Association book award in poetry. She has received artist initiative and fellowship grants in writing from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She records under the name Diane Jarvi. Diane Jarvenpa has combined poetry and music in assisted living residences as well as memory units and nursing homes for several years. She often incorporates a small 5-string folk harp as a way to share and tell stories. She enjoys meeting new people who also like to share and explore the world of music and words.


APP NV Director, Poet, Vogue Robinson
Robinson recently became Clark County’s second-ever poet laureate and she will always have an appreciation for humans who put truth & heart into words. Since graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English from SDSU, she dedicated herself to expression. Her work has been published in Catching Calliope: Vol. 2, Red Rock Review, Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women and Clark: Poetry from Clark County, Nevada.  Her first poetry collection titled, Vogue 3:16, was released in 2014. Vogue serves as organizer and co-host to Words in Motion Open Mic and Battle Born Poetry Slam. Robinson has also represented Las Vegas four times at the National Poetry Slam. She spends her spare time with family or organizing as the Executive Director of Poetry Promise. Social Media: @VogueR316

APP NV Coordinator, Poet, Jennifer Battisti
Jennifer Battisti, a Las Vegas native, studied creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada. Her work has appeared in the anthology, Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace, as well as Minerva Rising, FLARE, The Citron Review, The Desert Companion, Helen: A Literary Magazine, Red Rock Review, and elsewhere. Last year KNPR interviewed her about her poetry. She is an active member of the poetry community and holds a position on the board for the Las Vegas Poet's Organization. Her debut chapbook, Echo Bay, is forthcoming in 2018

New Mexico

Spanish Language Director, Poet, New Mexico, Michelle Otero
A writer, performer, and teacher, Michelle Otero is the author of Malinche's Daughter, an essay collection based on her work with women survivors of sexual assault in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work has appeared in Artful Dodge, Brevity, and Puerto del Sol, and her awards include an Associated Writing Programs Intro Journal Award and a Fulbright Fellowship. She is member of the Macondo Writers' Workshop.

Together with visual artist Chrissie Orr, she teaches multigenerational art and storytelling workshops through El Otro Lado: The Stories that Connect Us. She holds a B.A. in History from Harvard University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College. A tenth-generation New Mexican, she is Creative Director of Valle Encantado, an organization promoting sustainable development initiatives in the Atrisco historic core in Albuquerque, and co-founder of Connecting Community Voices, an Albuquerque-based organization building positive social change through creative community expression.

New York

Poet, New York, Beth Lisick
Lisick is a writer and performer currently living in Brooklyn. Her books include the New York Times bestselling comic memoir Everybody Into the Pool and the gonzo self-help manifesto Helping Me Help Myself. Lisick has toured the U.S. and Europe as a solo spoken word performer, front person for the band the Beth Lisick Ordeal, and member of the groundbreaking queer roadshow Sister Spit. Her other projects include comedic performance for the stage and screen with Tara Jepsen, curating the monthly Porchlight Storytelling Series with Arline Klatte, and teaching creative writing to young adults. She played the female lead in Frazer Bradshaw’s award-winning feature film Everything Strange and New and recently received a grant from the Creative Work Foundation to write a book about the developmentally disabled artists at Creativity Explored. Lisick starts in the short-film Stepsister, written and directed by Joey Izzo, which was featured at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Yokohama Threeway, a book on Sister Spit press (a new imprint of City Lights) is due out in 2013.


APP WI Director, Poet, Fabu Carter
Fabu, as she is professionally known, is a poet, columnist, storyteller, and educator. She was the third Madison Poet Laureate. (2008-2011). As a literary artist, she creates and shares writing that reflects her life spent in Memphis, Tennessee, Nairobi, Kenya and Madison, Wisconsin. She has published Poems, Dreams and Roses, In Our Own Tongues and Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku. Journey to Wisconsin won Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the Wisconsin Library Association, 2012. Fabu is a Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry, and Bronze winner in Spoken Word/Poetry in 2013. Remember Me: Mary Lou Williams in Poetry is her latest work. She loves sharing and composing poetry with mature adults. Her website is

Purple Cow Poets
The Sauk County Writer’s Group, “Purple Cow Poets,” provide programming helping to fulfill the need for high quality arts programming in rural Wisconsin throughout Sauk County.  The "Purple Cow Poets include: Janet Brice, Marilyn Hatsfield and Teddy Jedry.

International: Germany

(Alzpoetry is the German Branch of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project)
Alzpoetry, German Director, Lars Rupple
Rupple is a nationally recognized poet and workshop leader. He is the author of three books of poetry published by Lektora Verlag Paderborn.

Alzpoetry Poet, Wolf Hogekamp, Berlin
Wolf Hogekamp lives as an a/v editor and poet in Berlin. Since 1994 Wolf Hogekamp is reading and performing poetry and organizes regularly Poetry Slams in Berlin He is a pioneer of the German Poerty Slam scene. Since 2000 Hogekamp is the mentor of the Bastard Slam in Berlin, one of the most important and biggest Poetry Slams of the german spokenword scene. He was the founder of the first national of german speaking poetry slam in 1997, also he managed the 10th in 2007 in Berlin. More than 400 appearances with Poetry-Slams and readings on all important German-speaking stages.


In Memoriam


Arizona Director/ Poet Christopher Lane, 1972-2012
We were deeply saddened to learn of Christopher's death in August of 2012. In the early stages of the APP Lane was the first person Glazner asked to help expand the APP to other states. He was an amazing advocate for poetry. On working with elders living with dementia Lane said, "I just see them as my Grand Ma and Grand Pa and hug them just like I would my own loved ones." He will be truly missed.

Lane was the director and founder of the Arizona chapter of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, sponsored by Northern Arizona Poets, (NORAZ Poets) began in 2003, under Lane's direction and became an official 501(c)(3) organization in 2005.

Among Lane's awards include: the 2010 Bill Desmond Writing Award; Arizona Commission on the Arts, the 2009, Mayor's Arts Award; City of Sedona Individual Category, the 2009: Artist Project Grant; City of Sedona Arts and Culture Commission, the 2008, Gardens for Humanity; Visionary Grant and a 2006, Emerging Artist Grant; City of Sedona Arts and Culture Commission. He has been a featured reader at Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference at Arizona State University and the Tucson Poetry Festival. Lane was the author of "who is your god now?" published by Woodley & Watts. 


APP AR Director, Poet, Karen Hayes, 1953- 2019
Hayes is a writer, a poet, a runner, a caregiver, an Alzheimer’s survivor. Hayes is the Alzheimer's Poetry Project- Arkansas (APP-AR) and Poetry for Life (PFL-AR) director. Hayes connects with people of all ages.  Her passion is helping those living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.  She works with the Central Arkansas Veterans’ System, the Arkansas Arts Council, and Alzheimer’s Arkansas.  Karen is a firm believer in creating an oasis of “YES!” 

An active performance poet, Hayes reads her work at bars and libraries, coffee shops and trolley stops.   As the sole employee of Dogtown Poetry on Demand, she and her 1971 Olivetti manual typewriter travel to art walks, street fairs, and festivals.  You name the subject, she’ll write about it!  She is also a workshop leader and speaker.

Jan. 31st, 2019, Gary Glazner writes:
With tears, I say, "Rest in Poetry, Karen Hayes, RIP poet." I met Karen when she contacted me to take training, with the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, in using poetry with people with memory loss, back in November of 2017. That first email said it all! She wrote, "I'm a North Little Rock poet. And an Alzheimer's survivor. My husband Bob. I was 60 when Bob died in 2014. I decided to do all the things I said I wanted to do. Right. Damn. Now." She did grab life. She had a great laugh and was shy about her talent and so excited to have retired at the end of 2018. In her last email to me on Jan 19th, she was full of excitement, she was getting support from the Arkansas Art Council and Alzheimer's AR. She was leading poetry sessions at the Little Rock VA. That was important to her, because they had helped take of Bob at the end of his life and she really wanted to give back to the veterans. She led a breakout session at the Hospice & Palliative Care Conference, back in October. Her star was rising. This was in addition to "Poetry On Demand," all the readings and helping other poets. Here is what she wrote about her retirement, "I'll be 65 in November. I thought I would work there forever, but I took a long hard look at my passions (and my finances) and I'm jumping! I can't wait. There's a lot I want to do." She closed by thanking me for what she had learned, but for me it was what I learned from her. To jump in, to say yes, to take the hard knocks and keep on typing. Oh, that wicked grin looking up from her typewriter and asking "Want me to write a poem for you? Yes Karen, please write a poem!