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A Son's Pain Expressed Through Poetry

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Jessie Dunleavy

Even in pre-school, Jessie Dunleavy’s son Paul struggled to learn. His disabilities forced him to switch schools over and over. He turned to poetry, and eventually, after several mental-health diagnoses, to drugs. After he died of an overdose, his mother found a poem alluding to his addiction as a moral disgrace.

In her memoir, "Cover My Dreams In Ink," Dunleavy recounts the sobering lessons she learned from Paul’s life and death. You can check out Dunleavy's blog here. This interview originally aired on January 25, 2021.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.