Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood

The April issue is here! Enjoy!

She was born a stranger with purple wrinkly hands on a hot, August night. It’s hard to believe now, on this cool March evening, that I haven’t always known her. I know her rosy cheeks and the way her nose turns up a little at the end.

Tonight, at least, we will finally be able to put some faces to this endeavor. Tonight we will finally meet the children who have been matched to our family for adoption—a brother and sister, young teens.

This is the first family reunion since one of my daughters changed genders. How will the relatives react to him?


Already, I can see the effect this journey will likely have on our family. We will not be disassembled; we will grow together through this endeavor, meeting the needs of our new family members.


"Mom," Noah says, "is it really going to be okay that I’m trans?"

That free-range-kids-lady, Lenore Skenazy, who advocates for more kid freedom and risk taking would be proud of me. I'm treating my kid like a free-range chicken.


“She just ate,” I snap. The thought of getting out from underneath my covers again seems impossible.

The baby couldn't take any more. My creature, she thought, suddenly.

In this month's Essential Reading we review some prize winning novels we recommend you add to your reading list.


Regret needs to become part of the story.

Almost laughter, dagger, slaughter. / Dough proofing in the womb like unspoken utterance / on uncertain tongue


The Amazons raised their daughters warlike: / muscles sculpted marble, a singular breast // burnt at puberty for bow handling.


It festered not in the solitude of endless carpools, / it abounded not on the raucous sidelines of soccer games.


She’s misheard damn it, lucky // accident, but also this mistake / isn’t one, damage the right word ...


I talk to her like she can distinguish consonants from / vowels, English from French, happy from well-intended / stress margins ...

Spirituality, as I understand it, is that which binds our small selves to larger unity, meaning, and creation. Our interior lives are essential to our humanity. If we edit this out of our characters or narrators, we flatten them and their worlds.

In Unbound Jamie Sumner details her journey through infertility to motherhood through her strong Christian faith.


The Madwoman of the title is a complicated persona that the poet herself seems to shift into and out of. The poems convey the personal, the familial, the cultural/traditional, and the mythical.