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Deanna Shapiro: Poet

Conversations at the Nursing Home

A Mother, A Daughter and Alzheimer's

Conversations at the Nursing Home

Deanna Shapiro

ISBN: 0-9727703-5-6
ISBN13: 978-0-9727703-5-4

Price: $12.95

To Purchase: Amazon

About Deanna Shapiro

Deanna Shapiro is both a poet and a painter. She has a degree in English literature from Hunter College. She also has graduate degrees in both education and psychology from City College.

Deanna Shapiro & her dalmatianShe is a member of the Poetry Society of Vermont, The League of Vermont Writers, and the Otter Creek Poetry Workshop. She has been published in:

•    The Aurorean
•    The Penwood Review
•    The Jewish Women's Literary Annual
•    The League of Vermont Writer's 75th Anniversary Anthology
•    Burlington Poetry Journal and Tapestries
•    Poetica

Shapiro is also a nominee of the Pushcart Prize. She is currently working on a poetic memoir of her father's immigrant family. Want more about Shapiro follow her website and her facebook


What readers are saying about Conversations at the Nursing Home

This is a beautiful book, in the most honest and helpful way it can be. It is for all those who have ever dealt with the painful ambiguities of losing a parent through dementia. These poems tell a story that is hair-raising and heart-lifting at the very same time, funny and sad and deeply evocative. I found it impossible to put down.
--Reeve Lindbergh, daughter of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“We absorb our mothers, /their virtues and shame, /their intentions and un-intentions”. Deanna Shapiro says of her ambivalent relationship with an”unhappy” mother. These are the poems of a survivor: poignant and powerful, luminous and uplifting-always honest and impeccably crafted. In the many conversations the poet-daughter has transformed memories of sorrow into moments of unillusioned joy. A stunning debut.

--Nancy Means Wright, poet and novelist

Deanna Shapiro’s “Conversations at the Nursing Home” is a collection of exceptional power that evokes the feelings of deep anguish in a daughter trying to anchor a robust will to love in the sea of her mother’s resignation. It is a book for anyone who wants an authentic look into the human condition.

--Gerald Brooker, author of “Even Whispers Can Be Heard”

“Conversations at the Nursing Home” offers a reader the opportunity to glimpse reality as experienced by the person with dementia. It demands that we recognize the individual as a sum of their life’s experiences and render care in a manner which makes this reality the best possible. It should be required reading for professional caregivers.

--Nancy Schaedel Dementia Special Care Unit

“Conversations at the Nursing Home” transfixed me. It explores the complex relationship between mother and daughter in language deceptively straight-forward and disarmingly beautiful. Filled with so much understated wisdom, it is that rare work of art to be read and reread.
--Ray Hudson, author of “Moments Rightly Placed: Aleutian Memoir

These are poems that share what Shapiro-daughter and poet –saw, heard and felt in those visits to the nursing home and to her mother. These poems let us enter into loss and what is redeemed by and through it.

--Gary Margolis, Author “Fire in the Orchard”


“Conversations at the Nursing Home” is a journal filled with wisdom in the form of poetry and thoughts about the visits to her mother. Deanna Shapiro’s mother was a victim of Alzheimer’s. She spent the last fourteen months of her life in a nursing home. Ms. Shapiro shares with her readers the conversations she had with her mother during those visits. I found “How It Came About” especially touching. From the moment I picked up this book I knew it was written for me. Only someone else who has experience Alzheimer’s firsthand can truly understand the pain and that the whole family is the victim. Ms. Shapiro points out something that I also learned, we must find humor to be compassionate. My dad is one of seven children; four have the diagnosis of this dreaded disease. At this point, I see no signs in my father. I am the Health Care Surrogate of my Aunt Libby; on her next birthday she will be 89. She has been in a nursing home approximately 10 years, and her mind has outlived her body. This book speaks poignantly to the situation many of us find ourselves in.

Ms Shapiro is an excellent writer and speaks to the heart of the situation. I commend her for sharing her story. My heart aches for her loss and rejoices that she has the strength and spirit to serve her mother. “Conversations at the Nursing Home” is well written. This should be required reading for doctors, nurses and all who have aging parents or who will have someday. I highly recommend it to all.

--Debra Gaynor for Reader Views

Review in the Addison Independent