Irene de la Bretonne Hays

Irene de la Bretonne Hays

After more than a dozen years teaching in Idaho, Hawaii, and Richland (Col Hi!), I joined Battelle for twenty years (1980-2000), first as a technical writer, manager of Battelle’s editors/writers, then director of science education programs for Battelle in Richland, Seattle, and Golden, Colorado (National Renewable Energy Library).  My work included state and national leadership for Battelle and the U.S. Department of Energy in science and technology education.  Also during that time, Battelle supported me for a full sabbatical for three years to complete my doctorate at Seattle University (1997).

Following my retirement from Battelle in 2000, I moved to Santa Barbara where I began writing and publishing and also worked as a consultant and research analyst for a national leadership development corporation.  When it became increasingly apparent to me that my Mom and Dad needed my help with their health issues, I returned to Richland in 2005 to help my brother, Ernie, class of 60, and sister, Patty, class of 65, manage our parents’ care.  Dad died in 2006 and Mom continues to live at Guardian Angel Homes in Richland. Her health and care continue to be a challenge.  One of my poetry chapbooks (The Measure of Loss, 2007)) grew from the grief and loss associated with their decline.  My second chapbook (Witness: Landscape to Inscape, 2008) is devoted to my renewed love of the shrub-steppe landscape in which we live in southeastern Washington.  I have also published numerous single poems in journals and other media and have a full-length poetry book out to publishers at this time (Cross your fingers for a publication before the end of 2011!)

My two children are grown with children of their own; I have four grandchildren and one great-grandson.  My son, Michael, is a musician, currently drummer and vocalist for a national touring band.  My daughter serves as education coordinator at the McNary National Wildlife Refuge and is ABD (all but dissertation) for earning her doctorate.  If you have time while in the area, you may enjoy visiting the Wildlife Refuge (out near Burbank) — beautiful setting, with diverse wildlife and native plant gardens.


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