Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Motherhood: A Formal Constraint

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Motherhood to a poet means more than lost sleep. Our class will
consider motherhood as a formal constraint: a tongue-tying through
which we widen the range of our voices. We will help to unstrap the
sweetness, unfurl the frustration, unwind the wonder of motherhood,
creating the space for bold new work. If you’re a mother who’s ready
to return to writing, join us as we read, draft new poems and connect
with others who have one hand on the cradle while the other pushes the

We are leading the writing class at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle WA next month for women poets who are ready to return to writing after
the birth of a child. We are so excited about what we will be able to
offer new mothers: a forum for community and a lot of practical advice
for how to get writing again. As new mothers ourselves, we felt like
we were reinventing the wheel as we worked to create new writing
habits, and find new models, that fit with our new days. We decided to
lead this class out of a strong desire to offer the support we wished
was available to us. Returning to poetry after the birth of a child
marks a critical juncture in the writing life, and our goal is to
offer peer support and practical ideas for harnessing the scattered

Our class meets Saturday mornings from 10am-noon on July 11th, 18th,
25th, and August 1st. Registration is open now through Hugo House's

Megan Snyder-Camp's novel-in-verse, The Forest of Sure Things, is forthcoming from Tupelo Press. Laura Shoemaker is currently writing a poetry collection that includes poems about and around the subject of motherhood. Both Laura and Megan are Seattle-based poets and mothers who received their MFAs in poetry from the University of Washington.

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three sons. An MFA graduate in Creative Writing from Queens University, she writes about art and artist profiles for Charleston Magazine, The City Paper, Charleston Art Mag, and Art Papers. Amy also writes about living with chronic illness, and is finishing a book about women with diabetes for Demos Health. When she needs to get out of her own head, she teaches college students how to write the 5 paragraph essay. You can read more of her writing at her website.

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