Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
From the Editor, May 2016

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Gioia Albano

Alys and the Children by Gioia Albano. See more of Gioia's work at

Gioia Albano's painting, "Alys and the Children," always makes me smile. It reminds me of my own journey as a mother of two, and how it's come full circle, with the work I've been doing with Literary Mama for almost nine years. When I first came on board, my daughter was two, and I craved a like-minded community, as well as a professional challenge. I found both, and over the years, as I added to my family, and to my role, life grew richer and more hectic, of course! For nearly two years, it's been a privilege to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Literary Mama, but it's time for me to move on, to focus more on family, freelance editing, and writing. I've loved reading, commenting on, and editing the work of so many new and established mother writers, and consider myself lucky to have been part of such a transformative era of literary history. With a strong senior editorial team to guide it, Literary Mama will continue to publish top-notch, diverse pieces like those found here, in our May (Mother's Day) issue:

In Columns, Ona Gritz offers a thoughtful meditation on worrying, superstition, and gratitude with "Red Chestnut" and Beth Malone shares some parting advice for mother writers with her final column, "No Second Summer."

Creative Nonfiction includes Barbara Breen's "Putting Down the Needles," a reflective essay about caring for an aging parent, and holding on to traditions; Vicki Mayk's "Shared History," in which a daughter uncovers her mother's long lost loves as well as connections to her own life; and Sharon Forman's "Ghosts at the Costco," a haunting story about a mother's aversion to a particular location of the big box store.

Fiction features Angela Layne's "Life, After Death," a nuanced piece about dealing with loss, and the roles we suddenly must accept.

In Literary Reflections, there's Barbara Rockman's "Motherpoet: Boon of the Parallel Journey," a thoughtful essay about mothering and daughtering. As well, we're celebrating mothers and books and how together they have shaped our lives, with an Essential Reading list compiled by Literary Reflections editorial assistant Abigail Lalonde.

May's poems focus on various aspects of mothering and grandmothering with: "First Memory" by Kim June Johnson; "Unsent letter to my son's birthmother on his birthday" by Jamey Temple; "Swedish Spoon" by Joanne Clarkson; "Mornings" and "Woolen Hat" by Wendy Mnookin; "Like an Ear" by Jennifer O'Grady; and "9 Billion Hotdogs" by Dawn Claflin.

From Profiles, we have "A Conversation with Rebecca Barry" by Literary Mama blog editor Amanda Jaros, in which the two talk about writing, finding balance, and doing the work you love.

There are two fascinating Reviews—Jenn McKee's take on "Recipes for a Beautiful Life" and Gina Consolino-Barsotti's analysis of "The Argonauts."

And keep an eye on our Blog for up-to-date information on Calls for Submissions; guest posts for our After Page One series; and a Writerly Roundup of articles related to craft and the writing life.

We are always grateful for your comments, and hope you can share all this good writing with your friends via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Best wishes, and many thanks,


Maria Scala lives with her family in Toronto, where she works as a freelance writer and editor. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Sweet Lemons 2: International Writings with a Sicilian Accent, Descant, The Mom Egg, Literary Mama, PoetryReviews, and Exploring Voice: Italian Canadian Female Writers. Maria holds an MPub from Simon Fraser University. She is a former columns editor, senior editor, and editor-in-chief for Literary Mama.

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Gioia Albano is an Italian artist who lives in southern France with her husband and three children. She loves to paint women, some who exist in her imagination, some who are inspired by a particular topic, and others she's actually met. Currently, and thanks to personal experience, she's painting different aspects of maternity and likes to think that her artwork will help others be more close to their hearth and make this world a better place.

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