Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

I wanted this editor’s letter to celebrate a family reunion of sorts, complete with hugs and warm accolades that would welcome you back to our pages after our short summer break, but I struggled to find words strong enough to convey my thoughts. Even now, in mid-September, a summer of national unrest and uncertainty weighs heavy on my heart.

If I had known who you would be,
I would have named you something primal,
for you are rooted deeper than love,
tramping through these trails with wild arms, wild hair.

Eklampsis a lightening etymology I reject. The flashing lights are certainly flashy, and send hospital staff scrambling; but what I really hear is “clamp.” A surging, suppressed.

In Not a Self Help Book,” by Yi Shun Lai, Marty is on a journey to save herself, but in it, she may also save her mother.


There is a flicker of panic in her eyes as she realizes I am not joking. I give a nervous laugh and bite my thumbnail, not because I'm someone who bites my nails, but because it seems like the gesture of a crazy person


Eklampsis a lightening etymology I reject. The flashing lights are certainly flashy, and send hospital staff scrambling; but what I really hear is "clamp." A surging, suppressed.

She sludged through her waking hours, a once-award-winning architect now walking in a blind haze through the aisles of Target, impressed with herself on the days she didn’t put her underwear on inside out.

In this month's Essential Reading, our staff reveal their favorite book club picks.


The wars we fight can be navigated more effectively when we know that others have survived their own wars.

Asleep catching everyone off guard. You give / the signal: life stops instantly, or else.


It’s not just the spill. It’s / the menacing splinters / and shards that hide in any crevice ...


I sent him off to school / each day with everything / in proper pairs, / but he came back / home with naught / but one.


Ammonite lobes and saddles coil / near the scroll of fronds. Trillium kisses pulpit / with point of petal. 


If I had known who you would be, / I would have named you something primal …

Author and editor Jessica Strawser shares advice and thoughts on finding balance.

Marita Golden shows remarkable empathy for all four members of the Tate family as they struggle, make mistakes, grieve, support each other, and eventually learn how to thrive.


Yi Shun Lai picks at the knot of the mother-daughter relationship in a context of clashing cultures with a radical style that calls together a universal audience.