Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
From the Editor: March/April 2020

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Neil Thomas

Photo by Neil Thomas. See more of Neil's work at

Lately, I've been struggling to understand the turmoil of the world, the fear and hatred, the loss and suffering that so many people face. Every society and era has its fair share of turbulence. And yet, this feels like a particularly difficult time for many as we fight endless American political battles, a rapidly changing climate, and new and frightening illnesses. And those concerns are on top of all the personal life challenges that we encounter each and every day. 

The fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and literary reflections in this issue take a closer look at fear and loss: a toddler's night terrors, the loss of giving up a child for adoption, a writer facing an onslaught of online bullying, and stories of women fearing they will never get pregnant or be able to adopt. Additionally, several of our reviews and profiles look at books and authors who have also faced trauma and hopelessness.  

What I love about all the pieces in this issue is that these writers don't just tell scary stories; they show us how characters weather the storms, how people cope with loss, and how mothers move through pain and come out the other side stronger and more powerful. It's times like these when we need great writers and great writing to inspire us. And I believe you will find both here. 

Of course, if you want to skip the challenges altogether, go straight to our Essential Reading book list, where Literary Mama editors share their recommendations for books of humor. Sometimes a good laugh can make the whole world seem brighter. 

Whatever you're facing in your life, whether it's personal loss, fear for the health of loved ones, or the daily ups and downs of motherhood, I hope you find refuge in this issue of Literary Mama. Make yourself a cup of tea and sit with us for a while. We'll get through it together. 

Amanda Jaros

Creative Nonfiction
Under Glass by Eileen Drennen

Baby Dust for Us All by Heidi Fisher
Only Now by Randy Kraft
Test Results by Amy Lyons

Literary Reflections
Tornado Drill Position by Christie O. Tate
At the Kitchen Table Where Miracles Happen by Odeta Xheka
Essential Reading: Humor by Nerys Copelovitz

On a Failed Second Adoption by Patrice Boyer Claeys
The Fall by Morrow Dowdle
Little Foxes by Elaine Fowler Palencia
How to Explain Death to Your Daughter by Kate Kearns
Holy Work by Mandy Henderly

Counting by Sevens by Juli Anna Herndon
The Hard Tomorrow by DW McKinney

A Conversation with Sarah Blake by Camille-Yvette Welsch
A Conversation with Brenda Janowitz by Holly Rizzuto Palker
A Conversation with Sarah Cannon by Natalie Serianni

Images by Neil Thomas, Anton Shuvalov, Milada Vigerova, Diane Alkier, Charles Deluvio, Camilo Jimenez, and Birmingham Museums Trust.

Amanda Jaros is a freelance writer living in Ithaca, NY. Her essay “Blood Mountain” won the 2017 Notes From the Field contest at Flyway Journal. Other work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including, NewfoundLife in the Finger Lakes Magazine, Highlights for Children, and Cargo Literary. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Chatham University.

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