Tracy Lee Karner is the editor and designer of the poetry collection Thursdays at 2, and managing editor of Rose Hall Media Company. Her books Nearer to God and the accompanying Nearer to God Journal are also available on Amazon. She is currently co-authoring (with Joseph E. Lille) a novel, Pork Chops with the Sentinels of Azatan. She began writing poetry when she was twelve, and holds an English Literature/Creative Writing degree from the University of Minnesota. She blogs about artistic/creative expression, wellness, and tips for caregivers at TracyLeeKarner.com
Thomas P Whitten (left) is the author of John Hope Settlement House, 1929-2005. Tom’s relationship with John Hope Settlement House in Providence, Rhode Island began in the 1960’s, during which time he served as a board member. In 1977, he became the Executive Director, a position he held for longer than 28 years.
James Boucher is author of the recently released memoir Without Mom, With Spina Bifida (2017). He is a past member of the West Bay Residential Services Board of Directors, and holds a job as an administrative assistant, collating day activities packets for all of the group homes supported by West Bay. James is also the man who came up with the idea of making collaborative poetry at West Bay and is featured in the book Thursdays at 2. In 1996 he was awarded the Ginsberg Prize for his poem, I Put Pen to Paper .
The Poets of West Bay / Thursdays at 2
Fred A has worked at Walmart for 17 years as a greeter. He also helps deliver flowers for West Bay. Through participation in the collaborative poetry group that produced the book Thursdays at 2, he has learned to speak up, offer suggestions, and appreciate the process of creating a poem.
Carol Anderheggen is a member of Ocean State Poets, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and sharing of poetry. Their mission is “To bring the transformative nature of poetry to Rhode Islanders by encouraging reading, writing and sharing poetry and to create opportunities for others to find their own voices.” Her poems have appeared in The Great Swamp Gazette, The 2010 Rhode Island Writer’s Circle Anthology, URI Women, Anemone, Northeast Journal and many other regional journals.
Melissa Angrily is very interested in healthy eating, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She cares deeply about everyone’s health and happiness, and loves to make other people feel good. She expresses her caring through writing and art. She has written a book in which she lists the positive qualities of many of the people who have come into her life.
Prior to the Thursdays at Two group, Mark B (July 20, 1974 – May 23, 2016) had not read poetry and said he did not realize how much he would enjoy writing poetry. He told us, “I hadn’t realized how imaginative it could be.” Mark provided data entry assistance for several projects at West Bay including tracking supply orders (for the homes). In his free time, Mark liked to browse the Internet, shop at the Warwick Mall and enjoyed eating at Chinese and Italian restaurants.
Rachel Bartlett loves to go to movies and hang out with her friends and her boyfriend. She’s a huge Duncan Donuts fan, and enjoys trying out new flavors of coffee.
Gloria Bray volunteers delivering Meals on Wheels. Her dream job would be to work at a school. She enjoys people and loves children! She also likes music and going out for coffee, tea or lunch/dinner with friends. She especially enjoys the company of her dog Sammy.
Laura C has been on the West Bay staff for five years. In her free time she likes to exercise, watch anything on Bravo! and hold her baby girl.
Before Corinne Charlotte retired, she was employed in a workshop. Now she likes to watch movies, especially romance and comedy, and she loves to spend time in the West Bay Day program. Being a nice person is important to her, and everyone who knows her agrees that she is!
Katie Cottone is a fan of Disney movies, singing and dancing. She loves fashion and glamour–the more bling, the better. One of her favorite things is to have weekend visits with her dad.
Helen D’Ordine is a retired teacher and former adjunct professor at Rhode Island College, a former member of The Writers’ Circle, a Rhode Island Writing Project Fellow, and is currently an Ocean State Poet. Her chapbook, CONCLUSIVE ILLUSIONS was published in 2011.
Jodi DiLuca enjoys delivering flowers to a Rhode Island radio stations. She has also assisted with a coffee delivery service. Some of her favorite things are having her fingernails painted, shopping, and people watching. Red is her favorite color. Jodi’s friend Kathy says that Jodi’s participation in the poetry group “makes me stop and appreciate beauty, like flowers and rain on a steamy, hot day.”
Debbie Jette is a volunteer with the Books Are Fun program and delivers bread to the East Greenwich Community Center and helps with the recycling program at West Bay. In her free time she likes to go out for coffee, play board games and UNO, and hang out with her boyfriend Dave.
Cathy Keithan‘s painting is featured on the cover of Thursdays at 2. She works at Yardwords nursery and does landscaping around the West Bay office. In her free time, she love computer games, gardening, Pinterest and keeping up with friends on Facebook. She also loves staying at friend’s homes, going to the annual Flower Show in Providence, and attending the Rubber Stamp Show in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Hope Laurie enjoys getting her nails and her hair done, and loves coffee with cream and sugar. Her favorite color is purple.
Bruce Montgomery volunteers for St. Luke’s food pantry. He likes rock-and-roll music, going out with his family, and loves dancing to Billy Ray Cyrus’ Achy-Breaky Heart. His favorite color is blue.
Rick Nonnelly has assisted with filling supply orders at the West Bay office for almost three years. He enjoys gathering with others for Thursdays at Two. Although he is non-verbal, but is always very attentive during the poetry group session and likes the sharing of ideas.
Yvette Peck has worked at West Bay for 21 years. She loves to read and exercise, and often leads the poetry-making session on Thursdays at 2.
John Petit’s favorite part of making poems together is what he learns—about people in the group, and about the world around us. When you find a cat or kitten in one of our poems, you can safely bet it showed up there because of John’s input. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his parents and his girlfriend Rachael, play Gin Rummy and Uno, playWii—especially Mario and Wheel of Fortune—do word puzzles, and watch movies from his DVD collection.
RaeAnn R has been on the West Bay staff for three years. In her free time she enjoys listening to music and hanging out with her five-year-old daughter.
Susan Raposo is Day Program Manager at West Bay, a job for which she wears many hats. She was awarded “Direct Support Professional of the Year” in 2014. She has been on staff for 22 years and likes to joke that she began working when she was only five. Relationships are extremely important to her. In her free time she likes to get together with a handful of friends. She believes in having fun and staying active, and enjoys exercising, cooking, and healthy eating.
Diane S has worked at West Bay for over 25 years. In her free time, she likes to read and do artwork. She began to enjoy poetry as a young student in school, but did not write poems until Thursdays at 2 at West Bay sparked her interesting. She has recently begun leading a poetry class at a local nursing home, where the residents love painting with words and sharing their creative ideas.
Arthur Seale works in housekeeping. In his free time he likes to shop, play video games, go out to eat (his favorite food is Chinese), and go to the library to check out books and movies. He is proud of being smart, but the qualities he tries to show to everyone he meets are friendliness and helpfulness, because these traits are very important to him.
Joseph E Lille (right) is a writer and musician working from northern Massachusetts. He is the worship arts director for Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA and the director of C.cada, an artist’s collaborative, dedicated to helping artists develop and plug into their communities. He is the co-author (with Tracy Lee Karner) of the soon-to-be-published novel, Pork Chops with the Sentinels of Azatan.