Ann Bracken

Ann Bracken is an activist with a pen. Her three books of poetry take on the topical issues of family secrets like depression and alcohol abuse, the challenges of teaching, and the stories of the men and women hidden away in our nation’s prisons.  Her latest book, Crash: A Memoir of Overmedication and Recovery, explores mother-daughter experiences of mismanaged care for depression and chronic pain, and tells the multi-generational story using primary source records, journal entries, and current medical research.  

Ann serves as a contributing editor for Little Patuxent Review, and co-facilitates the Wilde Readings Poetry Series in Columbia, Maryland.  She also volunteers as a correspondent for the Justice Arts Coalition, exchanging letters with incarcerated people to foster their use of the arts.  Her poetry, essays, and interviews have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Awakenings Review, Mad in America, Fledgling Rag, and Gargoyle. Her advocacy work promotes using the arts to foster paradigm change in the areas of emotional wellness, education, and prison abolition.Ann’s use of poetic language has garnered her two Pushcart nominations, a featured spot on Best American Poetry, and appearances on Grace Cavalieri’s Poet and the Poem radio series.

The day my first books arrived

Ann’s interviews for Little Patuxent Reviewinclude such notables as Grace Cavalieri, host of The Poet and the Poem and Poet Laureate of Maryland; Paul Rucker, visual artist and cellist; Jason Reynolds, award-winning Young Adult author; Betty May, prison activist and author; and Morna McDermott, university professor and social justice activist.

Educated at Towson University( BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology) and Johns Hopkins University(M.S.Ed. in Communication and Learning Disorders ), Bracken’s work as a teacher in public and private schools, community colleges, and the University of Maryland College Park during the past forty years has focused on giving women, students of all ages, and imprisoned people a voice. Her post-graduate work in drama in education from Dublin’s Trinity College, journal instruction training from The Center for Journal Therapyand poetry therapy training from The National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy all weave their way into her writings and workshops, making them creative and memorable learning environments.

Ann has two grown children and lives in Columbia, MD.

Watch Ann read her poetry–Youtube videos

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