Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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Columns
Henry was the first real friend I made after I graduated college and moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn. We met when I wandered into Second Hand Prose, the used bookstore on Flatbush Avenue he owned at the time. I liked Henry immediately.
Doing It Differently by Ona Gritz

I worry about this child who loves to see worlds merge, yet lives apart from her home cultures in a high-turnover expatriate town, where friends and shared experiences come and go quickly. She just said goodbye to some departing preschoolers and a trusted librarian as the international school's term ended.
Four Worlds by Avery Fischer Udagawa

Last month's "Birthing the Mother Writer" column asked readers to submit essays about mothering during a child's adolescence. In this essay, Sarah Marxer writes about how, since she adopted a daughter who was five years old, this is the first such transformation she has witnessed.
Birthing the Writer Mother, Reader Response by Cassie Premo Steele

Creative Nonfiction
Which scenes would I have filmed? The catheter hanging off his metal bed, filling with bursts of blood, my father bellowing in agony? His wasted face asking us to look after my single sister? I couldn't project these images onto a flat-screen. It took seven years after we buried him to display a framed photo on my mantel.
Writing a Father by Anastasia Rubis

I realized now that we both knew. There was no use in pretending. "Would you like dessert, before you leave? I made mom's lemon sauce cake." Once when I begged my mother to make this cake she told me that it had also been my father's favorite. He loved the sweet mixed with the tart. "When I eat this cake and I taste what you tasted, it's as close as I come to remembering you," I told him.
Dinner of My Dreams by Jeannie Marshall

Fiction
When I sent the email asking my father to call, I knew I needed to keep the whole day free. Or the whole weekend. Even though his email said he'd call promptly at ten AM, Dad was only prompt for people in uniform. When the phone rang at quarter to seven, my husband and I were eating dinner. "That'll be him," I said. The phone shrilled two more times. I didn't move.
The Trunk by Heather Caliri

"I'm going to take this now," the man said, standing in front of his refrigerator, door open, one hand inside. "All right," the boy said, "but if you do that, I will remember it twenty-five years from now, and in a white-blonde classroom littered with molded plastic desks and ten tired students I will write it down to be exposed and thought about."
My Word by John Vanderslice

Because I'm still out of work, I'm home when the car pulls up in the driveway. I'm not expecting anyone, here in the middle of the day on a Friday, but I shut off the television and go out to the porch and there's my son standing up from his car, looking a little tired maybe. Now I'm wishing I had gotten around to shaving and showering or at least changing out of the old slacks and undershirt I've got on. Either way, though, I've been alone all morning long and it's good to see him. He grabs an overnight bag, gives me a half wave. I wave back.
Hungry to Eat by David Harris Ebenbach

Literary Reflections
We're reading about dear old dad this month! Check out our latest favorites.
Essential Reading: Father's Day by Rhena Tatisunthorn

Our reading this month ranges from Maine to Istanbul to Sarajevo; check it out!
Now Reading by Rhena Tatisunthorn

Poetry
He never talked about
the jungle erupting
as they flew in formation;
how he calculated vectors
for dropping a smoke bomb...
Our Dad by Lynn McGee

after the call,
after the silence
and the burying his face in his pillow,
his back to me
and our daughter who chatters...
his process by Robyn Nicole Lee

have eight Irish uncles interrupting me with
bathroom jokes and Chinese food. They keep trying
to send me home to shower, to rest.
In the Waiting Room by Sheila Squillante

Taking the Eros
out of it, I admire
your wool shirt, your wallet
Lullaby (for a husband) by Susan Comninos

When I smack the replacement glass pitcher into
the side of the sink and
it sings its song of not
breaking,
not yet--
Pitcher (for my husband) by Jen Kindbom

One July, Daddy hitched
a pop-up camper to the Dodge sedan
and drove the four of us to Florida...
Venture by Jane Blanchard

I don't know what exactly it is that makes my dad so cool, but a lot of people seem to think that he is. He wears a big kippah, sometimes it's a hand-knit one from Africa, sometimes it's an embroidered one like the kind you can buy in Jerusalem...
My Cool-Jew Dad by Ashira Malka

Profiles
George Estreich's new book, The Shape of the Eye: Down Syndrome, Family, and the Stories We Inherit (Southern Methodist University Press, 2011), is both a memoir of family life with his youngest daughter, Laura, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome as a newborn, and a reflection on stories passed down from one generation to the next.
An Interview with George Estreich by Lewis Buzbee

Reviews
Throughout these poems, Estes grapples with the domestic banality of crying babies and bodily fluids while recognizing that these things add up to something more than the sum of their parts. In Estes' capable hands, the quotidian leads to the sublime, and what once felt disparate and adversarial becomes a moment of attained wisdom. Kingdom Come is full of such moments, a collection not to be missed -- and a great gift for dads deeply involved in the day-to-day domestic grandeur.
Domestic Grandeur: A Review of John Estes' Kingdom Comeby Ginny Kaczmarek

Almost four years ago, I gave birth to my sixth child, a baby boy who took my breath away with his otherness. My husband and I learned within days of his arrival that our son, Finn, had Down syndrome, and we set upon a path we had never imagined. In the time since Finn's birth, as I've searched for wisdom and connection, I have read many accounts by parents who are also raising children with Down syndrome. None of those stories, however, have resonated with me like George Estreich's new book.
Down Syndrome, Family, and Belonging: A Review of The Shape of the Eye by Lisa MOrguess


The Literary Mama Blog Editor searches for mama-centric news you can use — including information about publishing opportunities and literacy efforts; essays and writing prompts that motivate and inspire; and announcements about events, classes, and workshops. The current blog editors are Laura Roberts and Rudri Patel; read their bios here and here.


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