Nicole Stellon O’Donnell is the mother of two teenagers, a former Literary Mama columnist, and an educator who now lives in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her latest collection of poems explores the life of a teacher.
I love poetry outreach! I want people to think of poetry as part of their daily life, as a way to honor it, to remember it, etc. I tell folks, “It’s better than Sudoku! It keeps the brain agile!”
I do tend to mythologize childhood, as a terrain to visit in search of understanding. I think this comes from my obsession with time. I want to arrest time, to harness it in the body of poems, and when I look to childhood for keys to how adults act in the now, I go searching with a measure of both envy and empathy.
Andrea J. Buchanan’s 2018 memoir, The Beginning of Everything, explores Buchanan’s battle with an incapacitating cerebrospinal fluid leak. It tells of the painful period where she searched for answers in the face of neurological damage, while also redefining her life as she and her husband divorced and continued to raise their children.
Laurie Paravati Phillips
While recently reading some of Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters, I uncovered some beautiful and ambivalent reflections on her family life. As a mother and new grandmother, I found that Dickinson’s keen insights gave me new and fresh ways to think about my role in my expanding and extended family. For a supposedly emotionally restrained author, Dickinson writes lavishly about the world of intimate relationships and the mixed emotions inherent in those delicate roles.
Cati Porter is a poet, editor, essayist, and arts administrator who hails from Southern California. She is the author of five chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry.
We publish profiles of writers who are mothers, writers who write about motherhood, and writers who have something to say to mothers. This includes well-known, living mama writers, of course, but also off-beat, lesser-known, not-so-obvious mama writers. Read more here.