News of Interest: Book Blends Painting, Poetry to Tell Stories of Epidemic Victims

The portrait of Anne Marie’s daughter Jackie is on the cover of the book.

[May 13, 2018 — Associated Press] In Artist, Poet Publish Book about Heroin Overdose Victims, reporter Holly Ramer tells about a creative collaboration between two women whose lives were touched by the opioid epidemic. Just three months apart in 2014, overdoses took the lives of poet Mary Ellen D’Angelo-Lombardi’s son’s best friend and painter Anne Marie Zanfagna’s daughter — and those tragedies provided the impetus for Portraits, Poems & Heroin: Thirty Souls Tell the Story, a poignant and painful — and very beautiful — book that captures the costs of the epidemic through the images and biographies of 30 people who lost their lives.

Mary Ellen says that the book is bound together by “‘the commonality of all the stories, the commonality of addiction, the commonality of how it ends, the commonality of how those left behind feel … There’s just a commonality that runs through the grief of losing a loved one that way.'”

A slideshow of portraits is available on Anne Marie’s Angels of Addiction website.

News of Interest” links readers to stories and information related to grief after a death from substance use.

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