Ann Hedge-Carruthers credits an eleventh-grade English teacher with opening her to the world of poetry, never guessing Ann would one day fall in love with a poet. A native Texan, Ann attended the University of Texas, Austin, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in fine arts with a major in art history. With her older daughter in college and the younger in high school, Ann returned to school and earned a Master of Divinity. Then came a sad divorce, so she gave up hopes of ordination and returned to the work of a director of religious education. She fell in love and married her former seminary professor, Robert M. Cooper, priest, poet, philosopher, and psychotherapist. While living in Florida, she worked as a psychosocial oncology counselor at Morton Plant Cancer Center in Clearwater and commuted to Santa Barbara, California, where she earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, with a particular focus on Jungian analysis and other depth psychologies. She has said of her work with the catastrophically ill, “I found nothing morbid in it at all. Those heroic souls taught me how to live.”
After the Rev. Dr. Cooper’s retirement, they moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she opened a private practice and he served as a semiretired associate priest at Trinity Cathedral and then priest in charge of Good Shepherd Chapel. These were the bittersweet years as she watched his health fail and eventually tended to him at home until his death seventeen years later. She continues in private practice and lives in the home they once shared.