- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A Maine poet says she hasn’t read much about dementia in poetry but she’s changing that with a heartfelt poem dedicated to her husband.

Lee Sharkey’s “Letter to Al,” tells of her experience with her husband’s memory loss. The Portland Press Herald reports (https://bit.ly/2oZKdVC ) that it’s a finalist in an international poetry contest.

The 72-year-old Sharkey and her 71-year-old husband, Al Bersbach, are flying to Ireland this week to learn if she won this year’s Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize.

She says she was reluctant to make the trip because it’d be hard on her husband. But Bersbach says he wanted “to hear her read our poem.”

They intend to use the poem to raise awareness about dementia and help through the Alzheimer’s Association’s Maine Chapter.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, https://www.pressherald.com

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