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

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Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

Photo by Literary Mama photo editor, Heather Vrattos

This past month, I've been sorting through and re-organizing photos of my childhood. One of my favorites is a black-and-white shot that captures an evening when I was four years old. I'm sitting on my dad's lap, and I'm holding a pencil in my right hand. His right hand is curled around mine, and he's helping me form the letters that make up my name.

The underlying sentiment I see in my childhood photo is similar to what I see in this shot submitted by Heather Vrattos, Literary Mama's photo editor. I'm drawn to the father's left hand, clasped around his son's leg. Steadying. Supporting. Firm, but flexible. What captures your attention?

Welcome to our June issue--where we're pleased to dedicate space to the fathers and grandfathers in our lives. I hope you're as moved by the words, art, and photography showcased on these pages as I am.

We're taking a short break in July and August but will be back with your favorite magazine pieces in September. Until then, stay connected by subscribing to our blog or by following us via social media.

Until next time,


Heartsong by Kate Ristau

Creative Nonfiction
Second to Second by Jessica Jones
Routine Visit by Jody Keisner

This Place We've Never Been by Jen Marie Wiggins

Literary Reflections
Essential Reading: Father's Day compiled by Abigail Lalonde
Why We Still Need Ramona's Realism by Sarah Curtis Graziano
Farewell to the Boy Wizard by Erika D. Walker

Beneath Glass by M.K. Hall
. . . don't spoil her by C.Z. Heyward
Home by Sarah Kilch Gaffney
The Dog in the Desert by Jennifer L. Freed
Cutting Back the Fig by Carol Denson
Mourning, with Hummingbirds by Patricia Caspers

A Father's Visual Narrative: A Profile of Jesse Burke by Gina Consolino-Barsotti

Fragile Expectation: A Review of The Grass Labyrinth by Erinn Kelley
A Review of From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Tools by Heather McEntarfer

Artwork and Photography by Gioia Albano, Jesse Burke, Juli Cady Ryan, and Heather Vrattos

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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Heather Vrattos is pursuing an interest in photography by taking courses at the International Center of Photography. She is the mother of three boys, and lives in New York City.

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