Motherhood Literature + Art

Identity – A folio edited by Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach

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A folio edited by Jennifer Martelli and Cindy Veach


The poems in this folio consider the “Mom” identity from both the mother’s and child’s viewpoints and speak to the complicated relationship that exists between the iconic Mom and Mom as an individual. Each of the poems challenges us, in its own unique way, to confront the person that we may or may not want to be (or know) behind the Mom mask. As the speaker in Megan Merchant’s poem, Fallout Shelter so aptly states:

I never even thought / that just once / my own mother / might have wanted / to be the one / who got to lick the bowl, / but that was not my job.

These are poems that aren’t afraid to address and speak for the dead:

My mother’s voice will go all falsetto as she enunciates / a little defensively— /I really wanted to do better. “My Mother Returns From the Dead to Appear on Oprah”, Susan Rich.

These are also poems that are not afraid to celebrate:

Yes. There I was: a little god throwing bright bolts of joy / in my mother’s dark house.  “My Life As a Dog”, Dawn Paul.

We hope you will enjoy reading this collection as much as we enjoyed curating it.


Featured poets:

Megan Merchant –  Fallout Shelter
Susan Rich –  My Mother Returns from the Dead to Appear on Oprah
Dawn Paul – My Life as a Dog
Dede Cummings – Day Hike
Elisabeth Weiss – Lost Mother
Laurette Folk – Retreat  
Jennifer Jean – Speculating
Megan Buchanan – Diamonds Heat the House
Danielle Jones-Pruett – Elegy in Search of a Speaker


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