"VOICES," a collection of poetry and prose by members of the writers group at the Chelmsford Senior Center

For more than 10 years the writers in the writing group at the Chelmsford Senior Center have been meeting to share their writing. Recently under the direction (and editorship)of the group's leader, Dorit Lammers, the group published its first book of poetry, entitled "Voices, a Collection of Poetry and Prose." The book's cover and interior was designed by Dorit Lammers. The Chelmsford Cultural Council helped to fund the efforts and the book was published in 2010. "Voices" is available for purchase at the Senior Center, and it will also be available at the Local Authors event on June 26.

About The Contributors:
Alice Dosset graduated from Lowell High School and attended Lowell Teachers’ College. There she studied voice with Jessie Vose and in Boston with Fredrick Lamb. She married in 1954 and continued her education at Bentley College in the field of accounting. Later she attended Middlesex College, studying business law and writing. In 2006 Alice published a book she called “Their Journey”, written from her own memories and stories her mother told her. Both of her parents were born in Turkey in the late 1800s and immigrated to the United States. They were Armenians who lived through Turkish occupation and genocide and were lucky enough to escape. Stories of immigrants continue to fascinate Alice – three new ones appear in this book. Alice is an active member of the Senior Writers’ Group. She also teaches the Junior Choir at Saints Vartananz Armenian Church in Chelmsford and has performed in Symphony Hall in Boston with the Manuelian Sisters’ Choral Group.

Marie Haywood, born in New York, was educated in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the early part of her childhood. Later she attended the Academy of Saint Joseph in Brentwood, Long Island and took evening classes to continue her education.
With her husband she moved to Chelmsford. They had three children (1959-1963). Eventually she became a member of Saint John’s Evangelist Church where she sang in the choir and in 1976 became a member of Saint John’s Catholic Charismatic Prayer Community. In 1994 she joined the Chelmsford Senior Writers’ Group.
Her writings, influenced by deep religious feelings, have on occasion been published in the church bulletin. Gratitude towards her creator is at the core of everything she writes, may it be an inspirational reflection or an observation about nature. She has spent numerous summers on Orr’s and Baileys Islands in Main and her love of the sea becomes apparent in the pieces she has written about her stay there. Over the years some of her essays have appeared in the Chelmsford Independent.

Doris K. Gayzagian, a native Iowan, has lived in New England since 1946, earning degrees in Early Childhood Education and Illustration. For many years she was a busy mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother, reaping ample inspiration for writing. She has been active in local writers’ groups and has enjoyed using her abilities to benefit the local library and senior center. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications. Her children’s book, “One White Wishing Stone – A Beach Counting Book”, was published by National Geographic in 2006.



Dorit D. Lammers was born and educated (Abitur and teachers’ college) in Berlin, Germany. In 1969 she moved with her husband and two small children to Chelmsford, Massachusetts. As the president of the German Cultural Club of Greater Lowell, she and another member presented an exhibit “Two Centuries of Germans in Lowell” at the Patrick J. Morgan Cultural Center in 1992/93. The exhibit included the story of German–born glassblower Francis G. Hirsch and was sponsored by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission and the Lowell Office of Cultural Affairs. Several presentations on the art of glass blowing in the early eighteen hundreds, the contribution of Francis G. Hirsch and the Chelmsford Glass Works in Middlesex Village lead Dorit to write a book on the subject. “German Glass Blowers in Chelmsford“ was published with the financial aid of the Chelmsford Historical Society and the Chelmsford Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, to celebrate the 350th anniversary of our town in 2005. After leading the Senior Writers of Chelmsford for over ten years, she decided to publish a collection of their work, including some of her own writing. Her poem “Young Love” won first place at the Chelmsford Poetry Slam in 2007. She also studied drawing under Dudty Fletscher at the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, which allowed her to illustrate this book and design its cover. The Friends of the Senior Center, Inc. and the Chelmsford Cultural Council, which is supported by the Mass. Cultural Council, sponsored the book.


Francis E. Murphy grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts, graduated from Archbishop William’s High School in Braintree and State Teacher’s College Boston. She and her husband moved to Chelmsford in 1962 where they raised their five children.
Fran was a volunteer at the Byam School, St. Mary’s Church and an active Member of the Chelmsford Jayceettes holding positions of Social Chairman and Vice President. She was a member of the Chelmsford Quilting Society and participated in executing a square for the bicentennial quilt, which hangs in the Chelmsford library. Later she taught Interior Decorating at Adult Education, quilting at The Silver Thimble and at her own business, the Sewing Bird.
In 1981 she joined the MITRE Corporation from which she retired in 1993. Retirement brought more time to read, walk and spend time in Florida. New hobbies include Yoga, crocheting Afghans for her fourteen grandchildren, watercolor painting and joining the Senior Writers’ Group. She is in the process of editing her writings as a book for her family.

Mary Ziavras is a graduate of New York University’s School of Education and has a master’s degree in Special Education from Long Island University. She taught fifth graders in a public school in Manhattan before teaching junior high students in Brooklyn. Upon retiring, she relocated to Chelmsford where she has taken drawing classes and worked with chalk pastels to create portraits of her grandchildren. She currently writes poetry and hopes to soon publish a book of Greek folk tales.

Former Members

Alice E. Allen was an inspiration to many people, especially to her grandchildren. Besides reading her own poetry, she persuaded her grandson Nicholas to participate in various poetry slams at the Chelmsford Public Library. She also encouraged her husband to attend and occasionally recited some of his writing. In her poem “Special Place” she shares the source of her inner strength with the reader. Alice passed away in October 2005.

Barbara M. Crouch, a former elementary school teacher, was the founder of our group. She led the Senior Writers from 1994-1998 and was very much appreciated. After her husband passed away, she left Chelmsford and now lives in Bedford, Massachusetts.

James A. Decker was a retired banker when he joined our group. He wrote poetry with a passion and presented his work with much success at poetry readings at the Chelmsford Library. As the only male member, Jim thrived in our company and we in his. We miss his teasing and his laughter. Jim passed away in February 2000.

Anastacia R. Forsley became a regular member of the Senior Writers’ Group after she retired. Her poem “Aging Companion” won her first place at the Chelmsford Poetry Slam in 1997. It is a perfect example of how Anastacia views life. Eventually, other commitments took up all of her time and she had to leave the group.

Mary E. Ryan, a former purchasing agent for the Navy, did volunteer work after her retirement. Of her writing, she once remarked that it had been published – but not since “rhyme” has become a dirty word. To the delight of many people she read her poem “How Sweet It Is” at the Chelmsford Poetry Slam in October 1999. We miss Betty’s dry sense of humor. She passed away in January 2000.

Selma Unterberg was born in Latvia. She had an abiding love of nature, expressed again and again in her writing. In her vignette “Twilight” she conveys a deeply felt sense of peace and timelessness, which is threatened in “The Christmas Tree”. Selma was a gentle person with great inner strength. She passed away in October 2005 at the age of ninety-one.