‘I don’t let dementia stop me from writing my poetry’


In her years as a writer and poet, Alice Kelly has written dozens of poems and has now published her third book.

At the age of 86, she and her husband Dessie are living with dementia in a care home in Warrenpoint, which was the venue for her latest book launch.

Despite her condition, she can still recite reams of her own poetry, and her husband can remember her poems too.

It raises interesting questions about the nature of dementia.

Mrs Kelly’s latest book, My Life in Rostrevor, was compiled by her daughter Bronagh, and is a love letter to the County Down village and to her family.

Mrs Kelly said reciting and writing poetry with dementia is a challenge, but she tries not to let it get in the way.

“Before the words you are saying: ‘Goodness I hope I remember’,” she says.

“It depends how you feel. I could write a poem before you would leave, but on the other hand I would be groping for letters to either finish it or not finish it.”

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