Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
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Have you read the most recent pieces at Literary Mama?



Senior Mama by B. L. Pike:  Tony, who is 31 years old, doesn’t occupy time and space in the same way we do. In his world, there is only now, which is both a place and a state of being. What he was thinking in yesterday’s now we will never understand. But I want to think he was aware of being lost while he wandered all over Mesa. I hope he missed us, was looking for us. “Why did you turn down this street?” I ask about one unlikely residential neighborhood.

Doing It Differently by Ona Gritz: It’s a month after Hurricane Sandy and, having attended a benefit the night before for the Rockaways where we grew up, my girlfriends and I drive though Long Beach, one of the many devastated beach towns on Long Island. We pass boarded up businesses, houses burned down to their shells, heaps of sodden debris that are all that’s left of first floor kitchens and basement rec rooms. I’ve seen similar wreckage where I live in Hoboken, but I’m not yet inured. What I feel is shell-shocked, humbled. None of us exists outside the reaches of nature. I knew that. Only I didn’t. Not really. Not experientially.

Of This Fantastic Peach by Katherine Barrett:  Can tradition be transplanted across oceans, seasons, and generations? Can immigrant and expat families uphold tradition when surrounded by vastly different foods and cultures? What, in the end, makes tradition so meaningful?

Creative Nonfiction

Africa or Disney World? by Rachel Pieh Jones:  No, no human being should be walking in the searing, suffocating heat of this mid-afternoon hour. And yet, my family of five has set out for a stroll.

Notes From a Napkin by Kate Barry Oliviero:  I crunch on a florescent orange Cheeto as I watch my classmates open their lunch bags, assuming that every cookie in sight is homemade. I want my mom to be the type of mother who writes napkin notes and makes chocolate chip cookies from scratch, but that’s not her way and I know it already, at ten years old.


A Winding Silver Path by Amanda Oosthuizen:  Of course I pushed it, she’s my mother. I had right on my side, I thought. But he hated it here, he hated the uncertainty. When he woke in the early hours to find her standing in our room, I had to choose. I didn’t hesitate over the decision to stay. So we have an enforced separation, not a proper separation but we’re living apart and I despise him a little now, that’s the biggest change of all. The door clanks.

Cat's Eye by Jeannine Bergers Everett:  She didn’t always have trouble remembering. Or maybe she did. So many things confused her, like the passage of time, the minutes scattering away like marbles, rolling under the sofa. They were too far out of reach for her to get to, and too numerous to count, so after a while, she stopped trying. Did they even matter anyway? The memories were like marbles too, round and beautiful and oh, so hard. She’d hold them in her hand, roll them in her palm and gaze into their depths. But like time, they’d eventually roll away.

Literary Reflections

Essential Reading:  Grandmotherhood by Libby Maxey:  Sometimes, grandmothers can provide something slightly magical that nobody else can.


8-year-old Buddha by Jill Rosenthal

On a walk
With my 8-year-old daughter,
All she can speak of
Is what happens next.
“Live in the moment,” I say.

Two Sweet Things by Melissa Sewell

You’re almost five and incapable of quiet
while mama chats the weather, making coffee
for customers, wearing my apron and crying sleeves.

On the Interstate by Shannon Cavanaugh

Life happens in flashes.
I write it down on Post-it notes.
Bugs splatter to their deaths on the windshield.

How to love by Julie Brooks Barbour

She entered the world knowing
how to be surprised by every light and voice.
I asked her: How can you love the world
when the world is ill?

You are dismissed by Stephanie Lenox

The world is too much going bye-bye.
Even the fern in the corner is making its exit.
Doors must be shut. That’s what they’re made for.
My toddler at the window waves at every passing


A Conversation with Natalie Serber by Lisa Lynne Lewis:  In this conversation, Serber talks about her obsessions, the mothers and daughters who populate her stories, and why she defines herself as “motherwifewriter.”

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 editor is Rudri Patel; read her bio here.

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