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Betty Brown poetry book published


By Nick Fiala
For Rensselaer Republican

RENSSELAER — Betty Risner Brown was a local poet and writer, as well as a columnist for various publications, including the Rensselaer Republican. Her columns, including “Betty’s Kitchen” and “Betty’s Blackboard,” shared recipe ideas, general words of wisdom, musings on everyday life and nearly everything in between. Though Brown died in Jan. 2018, her many columns and poetic writings have had a profound influence on many locals. Fortunately, those poems are now preserved in the newly-published book "Grandma Bet's Poems." 

Lu Hayes contacted the Republican shortly after Brown's death to say that she had partnered with Brown’s daughter, Joan, in order to gather up all of her poems and send them to a publishing company for a book deal. Hayes said that, although Betty Brown sadly did not live to see the finished product, she was very excited about the book project.

“She loved writing her poems as well as the papers she wrote for,” Hayes wrote. “People loved reading her articles in the paper and I hope you will enjoy reading her book.”

"Grandma Bet's Poems" has a little bit of everything, from personal details about everyday occurrences in Brown's life to her thoughts and feelings on historic moments, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

A press release for the book invites readers to "enjoy her passion for poetry writing about her family relationships and the simple things in life."

The book was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc of Pittsburgh, PA. It can be purchased at  

More about Brown
Brown was born in Rensselaer on Aug. 1, 1931, and went on to graduate from Fair Oaks High School in 1948. In the following year, she married Gerald Hayes, who passed away in 1990. Her second husband was John Brown.

During her 86 years, she lived to be a great-grandmother. And numerous locals have testified to the fact that she loved to talk and share stories about everyday happenings, seemingly everywhere she went.



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