Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

With the start of a new year, many of us are tempted to draw up a list of resolutions to take us through the ensuing months. Some people try to eliminate procrastination or self-doubt. Other people resolve to eat healthier, …

We’re always learning how to let go in life—of expectations, yearning for “more,” and narratives we cling to even though they’re mostly inventions created by us or others. But as a mother, I thought my job was to not let go. I thought that my job was to worry.

Karen Craigo’s poems walk within memories, where both scarcity and plenty are possible depending on perspective. In poem after poem, Craigo chooses abundance — in kindness, in language, in story.

I have reached down my throat
many times, pulled out what I could.
To make myself smaller. To scrape away
what my mom gave me.
Her gifts were not wanted.
Here, take them.


Community and joy showed her hope in the darkness of depression.


These last few months, we thought we had a chance. While Rowan’s heart has been enlarging, tissue has also been gathering around the hole, increasing the possibility that it might close. We took a breath—pushed back surgery. We stood on the edge of hope.

Maya has big plans for the leaf collection, and decay hasn't entered her mind.


You thought you were his floor: the stable base that would support him while he conducted the business of life.

She understands now, the need for this alone time. And yet it’s increasingly difficult to quiet her mind.

This month, we are featuring books that help us find inspiration and those that help us achieve our goals.


I was certain that these women writers, the ones I grew up with and the ones I encountered now, had not done it alone.


I'm not going to miss out on anything, I realize.

This was a journey polar-ward. / Think Scott, Amundsen.


Listen, there is no pretense when one mother / weeps for another’s loss, wishes to be taken, instead.


I have reached down my throat / many times, pulled out what I could.


When someone gives him a compliment, spit over your shoulder three times. / Then touch wood.


We trip from grace / to grace, / / O Happy Fall.

Priscilla Warner shares her thoughts about meditation, writing, and motherhood.


Editor Karen Craigo, known for her friendly rejection slips, talks about motherhood, finances, and literary citizenship.


The author discusses her change from journalist to novelist and why she starts with the character.

Karen Craigo's poems walk within memories, where both scarcity and plenty are possible depending on perspective. In poem after poem, Craigo chooses abundance.


In her short stories, Louisa Ermelino beautifully captures, ponders, and shares women’s dilemmas and obstacles on the subject of where one belongs, both figuratively and literally.