Literary Mama is a proud member of the following organizations:
The International Mothers Network
The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses
Diana Whitney, a graduate of Dartmouth and Oxford Universities and a former Rhodes Scholar, is also a mother, yoga instructor, poet, and blogger for The Huffington Post as well as author of Spilt Milk, a parenting blog. Whitney has recently published her first book of poems entitled, “Wanting It.” This compilation, published in August 2014 by Harbor Mountain Press, bursts with imagery and honesty, reflecting one woman’s experience living authentically.
Kelly Light is the illustrator of two children’s chapter books series, including The Quirks and Elvis and the Underdogs, as well as a mystery for children entitled, Who Took the Cookbook? She has drawn for Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hanna-Barbera, and is now the author and illustrator of the delightful children’s book, Louise Loves Art, published in September 2014. In a virtual conversation, interviewer Gina Consolino-Barsotti and Kelly Light conversed about the inspiration of her new character, Louise, what she requires to create, and how postpartum depression impacted her work.
Elizabeth McCracken’s new collection, Thunderstruck & Other Stories, is her first book of short stories since 1993. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the author of a previous story collection, two novels (including The Giant’s House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award), and a memoir, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. A former public librarian, McCracken has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and many other organizations. McCracken is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds the James A. Michener Chair in Creative Writing. She is married to the novelist and illustrator Edward Carey.
Katrina Kittle is the author of four adult novels—Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, The Kindness of Strangers, and The Blessings of the Animals—as well as the young adult novel, Reasons to be Happy. In her former life, Kittle was a teacher at The Miami Valley School and Centerville High School, both located in Centerville, Ohio. She currently writes and teaches at multiple sites in the Dayton region, including Wright State University, Antioch University, and Word’s Worth Writing Center. In a conversation with profiles editor Christina Consolino, Kittle talks about her inspiration for book topics and characters, keeping creative energy alive, her mother’s influence on her writing, and how a diagnosis of breast cancer helped her find that elusive balance in life.
In the summer of 1996, I interviewed a famous Italian poet, Mirella Bentivoglio, then 74 years old. I had long admired Bentivoglio’s ability to match her creative career with tremendous amounts of critical work (mainly aimed at supporting women artists), all while a mother of three. I was curious about her strategies and about the source of her exceptional balance and strength. Most importantly, I wanted to explore the nature of her mothering choice, and I hoped that she would share her memories with me.
Jenn Crowell released her first novel, Necessary Madness, to wide critical acclaim at age eighteen. Just five years later, in 2002, she followed it with her second novel, Letting the Body Lead. Her third novel, Etched on Me, was recently released by Washington Square Press. In addition to writing, Jenn also serves as a mental health advocate: she is a survivor of sexual abuse in a psychiatric hospital setting and has advocated with health care agencies for more sensitive and safe treatment of women with mental illness. Jenn lives outside Portland, Oregon, with her husband and daughter. Writer Kristen Witucki spoke with Jenn about her choice of writing fiction, mothering while living with a mental illness, the value of teachers, and how motherhood has shaped her as a writer.