Parkinson's & Poetry

Parkinson's & Poetry
Every week in April 2020, tune in to celebrate National Poetry & Parkinson’s Awareness Month with a poem from the NW Parkinson’s community. Featuring local Northwest poets, artists & therapists. Side-effects from poetry may include: improvements in speech, cognition, mood, connection & more. Submit your poems and read them at

A Quilt of Voices with Mari & the Women Affected by Parkinson’s
May 5 • 28 min
Food, family, stuffed animals still keeping us company: in this episode, Mari recites the poems written with her fellow Women Affected by Parkinson’s of Spokane, WA. She speaks to the everyday bravery of the group, the ways they support each other through…
“Make Her Heard”: Poetry by Janice Holland-Hill read by her daughter, Kate
May 1 • 15 min
Janice Holland-Hill shared her poem, “The Road”, with the NW Parkinson’s community: now her daughter, Kate, walks us through it. We learn how dynamic a person Jan is, from writing to sheet music, to energizing Kate with tasks of creativity. Jan’s…
The Poem Takes Charge: Gary & Rubye Vallat
Apr 28 • 20 min
When weighed down, what lifts us? Poetry can sometimes be that antigravity, that “outward expression of an inner being”, as Gary Vallat puts it. In 2019, Gary published a book of poems called “There is a Lightness in the Telling”; this conversation…
Bud + Sis: Researching Parkinson’s & Poetry
Apr 24 • 59 min
Who is scientific research meant for? Bette Jane Camp wanted to know the rhyme and reason behind hard-to-find and inaccessible research on Parkinson’s. So, she invited her Master’s-seeking brother, Jamie Camp, to discuss the nature of scientific journals,…
Why We Show Up Each Day: Jordan Reads “The Apple Orchard” by Marjorie Laughlin
Apr 21 • 10 min
Jordan Whitley is our Community Engagement Manager with arguably the best laugh around the NW. A graduate of the University of Washington’s Master of Social Work program, she works passionately with people impacted by Parkinson’s in the NW to bring the…
Social Work, T. & the NW Parkinson’s Community, ft. “Icicle Creek (Still Life)” by Marjorie Laughlin
Apr 14 • 13 min
T. Christopher Crandall is a baritone, and a dedicated, soon-to-be Master of Social Work through the University of Washington. In 2018, T. serendipitously became involved with the NW Parkinson’s community through his practicum work at Evergreen Hospital’s…
Taking Chances with Marjorie Laughlin
Apr 10 • 26 min
If you’ve read Marjorie Laughlin’s “Icicle Creek (Still Life)” or “The Apple Orchard” on Parkinson’s & Poetry, you might assume she’s been writing for decades. In fact, as she shares in this conversation, it was a pretty recent sunset that moved Marjorie…
Announcement & One of Bette Jane’s Favorite Poets
Apr 7 • 5 min
We are all in this together. Originally, the NW Parkinson’s staff and volunteers set out to read community members’ poems every day in April. We’ve had to revise that to every week: as everyone does their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our team…
When the Personal is Universal: Judy & Steve Wood
Apr 3 • 12 min
Nearly 20 years ago this winter, Judy Wood moved down her frozen street with full attention. She noticed, and noted. It’s now spring of 2020 and her son, Steve, leads us into that moment, entitled “December 2000”. An artist, mother, wife, retired nurse,…
Pam Squared: Finding Poetry in Life with Parkinson’s
Mar 30 • 11 min
Pam Walker and Pam “Pinky” Reeve share a first name, a room-altering sense of style, and over fifty years of friendship. They remained close while Pinky lived around the country, and they became even stronger together when Pam was diagnosed with…
Limericks In Lieu of the Pub
Mar 24 • 11 min
For many of us, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 celebrations were curtailed by our regional, national, and nearly global effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We found a way to keep the holiday afloat: NW Parkinson’s community members Terry Harrigan and Bette…
Parkinson’s = Creativity? Haiku with Renee LeVerrier
Feb 20 • 5 min
What is poetry? How does life with Parkinson’s actually make room for creativity? Renée Le Verrier takes on these questions and offers her own experience with P&P. We’ll also feature some of Renee’s own haiku that she keeps in a little purple bag, for…
Poem Talk: Casey at the Bat
Feb 12 • 3 min
Fact-check: when did baseball, the American pastime, first become a sport? Send in your answer and source(s) to and we’ll share them on this podcast! Poem Talk features conversations about different poems read and recorded on…
Camps at the Bat
Feb 11 • 5 min
BetteJane and her sister, Maggie, joined their dad for a group reading of his favorite poem, Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer. Check out the bonus episode to hear them discuss the poem, song lyrics as poetry, and more!
A Bird in the Office with Terry Harrigan & Jordan Whitley
Feb 11 • 0 min
NW Parkinson’s own Jordan, Terry & Bette Jane kick off Parkinson’s & Poetry with meter and rhyme. Who better to guide us than Emily Dickinson?
Parkinson’s & Poetry (Trailer)
Jan 30 • 0 min