Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
From the Editor, October 2017

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Photo by Anne Hurlbut. See more of Anne's work at

To many, the image of a pregnant woman symbolizes not only motherhood but also, the desire for motherhood. And really: what's more joyful than a photo of a newborn or one of a woman gently caressing her pregnant belly? Yet, what image might be more frightening to a woman who is facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy? Or more heartbreaking to a woman who miscarries or to another who hopes to have a child but cannot conceive?

That's the challenge when an image becomes a symbol, isn't it? When we connect it with an emotion, we turn it—both literally and figuratively—into an icon, an emblem, and even a creed. We forget that it can elicit an emotion in another that's different from our own.

I'm grateful our founding editors designated a specific month to recognize the multitude of emotions associated with the desire to have children as well as those intertwined with the desire not to. We're on the lookout year-round for essays, stories, writers, and books that bring unique insights to the conversation and, as in years past, the pieces in this issue do not disappoint. We feature the sad as well as the happy, the surprise as well as the hoped-for, and the doubts as well as the delight.

I hope you'll find yourself in the pages of this issue and in the archives of our past Octobers.

Welcome to this year's selections of Desiring Motherhood.

P.S. Stay connected between monthly issues by subscribing to our blog or by following us on social media. See you there!

Columns (NEW!)
The Sound of a Calling: The Whisper Before the Calling by Julianne Palumbo
Transformation: Car Talk by Katrin Grace

Mother Me by Magin LaSov Gregg
Wrestlings by Kyla Kupferstein Torres

A Listening Walk by Natasha Bland
My Mother's Shoes by Stacey Hohman McClain

Literary Reflections
Essential Reading: Desiring Motherhood compiled by Nerys Copelovitz
Ten Books by Julie Lehman

Five Weeks by Rebekah Rempel
Polemic by Kelly Morse
if i have a daughter who is anything like me by Leta Rebecca Cunningham
To Mis-Carry by Elizabeth Callahan Steiner
Congratulations! by Lorna Rose
36 Weeks by Genevra MacPhail

A Conversation with Margaret Combs by Kelsey Havig
A Conversation with Sandra V. Feder by Gina Consolino-Barsotti

A Review of Lilli de Jong by Jamie Sumner

Photos by Anne Hurlbut, Katie Knake, Rudri Bhatt Patel, Gayla Ross, and Heather Vrattos

Karna Converse 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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A former English teacher with a Master’s degree in English from Middlebury College and work completed towards a MFA in Writing for Children, Anne is a photographer, filmmaker, artist, writer, and mother of four kiddos. She believes in the power of color, words, and images, and delights in their coming together. It has long been Anne's dream to combine all of her creative interests, and Anno Studios is the manifestation of those dreams.

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