Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Alice Ryerson Hayes  

Pen Name: Alice Judson Hayes


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1922

Died: October 13, 2006

-- Alice Ryerson Hayes on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hayes grew up in Chicago and lived in Lake Forest and Hyde Park, Illinois. She attended the Francis Parker School in Chicago, Milton Academy, Bryn Mawr College and the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Alice Ryerson Hayes was a poet, leader and visionary who initiated the Ragdale Foundation in 1976 as an artists' community to be housed on her family's summer estate in Lake Forest, Illinois, continuing the four-generation tradition of the Shaw family of artists and writers. She wished that the 1898 Shaw-designed house and grounds be preserved, but not as a house museum: she saw it as a living, continuing artists' community. In 1986, she donated the property to the City of Lake Forest and established the network of partnerships that has preserved Ragdale. Many acres of virgin prairie that were part of the original Ragdale property have been given to the Lake Forest Open Lands Foundation to protect. Thanks to Hayes' efforts, the Ragdale Foundation is the fourth-largest artists' and writers' retreat in the country, and the largest in the Midwest.She was active in peace work and anti-war work. In the 1980s, she helped to found the Chicago chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility.In 2002, Hayes received the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, which the Illinois Humanities Council awards for exceptional contributions to the community. The Alice Judson Hayes Writing Fellowship is given out annually in her honor.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

New and Selected Poems 1943 1985
ISBN: 0933180985

Spoon River Poetry Pr. 1987

Alice Ryerson has spent most of her life going to schools or working in them as parent, wife, teacher, psychologist, trustee, advisor, or student. She is the founder of the Ragdale Foundation, a place for writers and artists to work. Archaeology is her serious hobby. She has four children and seven grandchildren and lives with her husband, Albert Hayes, in Chicago. Her other books are: Excavation, 1980 and Matrimonial Picnic, 1984.

Journal of the Lake
ISBN: 0931416108

Open Books. 1997

Water, Sheba's Story
ISBN: 1880404176

Bookwrights Pr. 1998

Book by Hayes, Alice Ryerson, Abt, Jeffrey, Ryerson, Alice


  • Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2015