Our Mothers, Our Selves

Our Mothers, Our Selves


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Our Mothers, Our Selves by J. B. Bernstein, Aleta M. Daley, Karen J. Donnelly

Finally, we have an inclusive collection that brings motherhood into the fold of feminism. As we accede to our universal origins in the mother, we witness the infinite variety of experiences awarded the offspring. Spectrums of gender, race, age, religion, class, and nation give voice in Donnelly and Bernstein's anthology as more than 80 writers contribute poetry, essays, memoirs, and short fiction. Some of the artists are well-known, including Maya Angelou, Galway Kinnell, Marge Piercy, Margaret Atwood, and Robert Bly, while others are less known. All attest to the experience of motherhood as primal.

Writing as mothers, as children to their mothers, and as close observers, women and men create selections that fall into three trimesters of involvement: the experiences of going beyond the self, beyond reflection, and, finally, beyond the whole. The many shades of emotional experience, from ecstasy to horror and all points in between, are portrayed in words and photographs. As images take shape, nightmares are relived, emotions flow abundantly, and details come into focus as the cathartic effect of the writing builds. Painting motherhood as much more than just a pretty picture, the editors' purpose is clearly to bring us all together under a multi-faceted umbrella of empathy and to unite us in the diversity of the experience of motherhood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897894456
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/30/1996
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.59(d)
Lexile: 1040L (what's this?)

About the Author

KAREN J. DONNELLY, freelance writer and poet, teaches in the English Department at Gateway Community Technical College in New Haven, Connecticut.

J. B. BERNSTEIN, a short fiction writer and poet, has published extensively in literary reviews, such as Kalliope, The Valley Women's Voice, Hip Mama, and The Illinois Review. She teaches English Composition at Gateway Community Technical College in New Haven, Connecticut.

Table of Contents


Beyond Self

The Moment the Two Worlds Meet by Sharon Olds

from A Street in Bronzeville by Gwendolyn Brooks

How to Live by Meryl Shader

Miscarriage by Rawdon Tomlinson

With Child by Mary Connor Ralph

Lines For One As Yet Unnamed by Harry Brody

Fist First by C. D. Runyon

The Bearing Woman by Judith A. Downey

Infant Burial Room, Wupatki by Felicia Mitchell

Even after death, I will not forget how a newborn huffs and puffs when sitting slumped over by Hilda Downer

Not a Trace by Jan Frazier

Cambodia by Alicia Ostriker

Morning Song by Sylvia Plath

Stumbling into Motherhood: A Few Words About Bonding & Mother-Women by T. J. Banks

Ironing by Judith Minty

On the Inside by Eliza Monroe

After Reading Mickey in the Night Kitchen for the Third Time Before Bed by Rita Dove

Crack in the World by Anne Waldman

What to Tell the Kids by Linda Vernon

But How? by Karen J. Donnelly

Yes, It is Possible to Love a Child Who Doesn't Have Your Eyes by Esther Cohen

Motherless by Carol Corda

Brothers and Sons by Gus Pelletier

Loving Across State Lines by Meg Mott

The Glass Half Empty by Anna Quindlen

Awaiting the Arrival of the Witch by Deborah Shouse

Ghost Child by Joanne Lewis Sears

Learning the Firebird Suite by Nancy B. Miller

That's My Girl by Marael Johnson

The Blessing by Carolyn Kizer

Cornucopia by Frank Miller, Photographer

Beyond Reflection

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (excerpt) by Maya Angelou

Reasons… by Sue Walker

The Woman Warrior (excerpt) by Maxine Hong Kingston

Nursing the Adopted Child: A Different Pace of Bonding by Lisa Gayle

Sitting With My Mother and Father by Robert Bly

Bending Over Roses at Twilight by Franz Douskey

Mercy Killing by Margaret Fulton

Women and Other Mothers by Sarah Morgan

Spring of '42 by Peter Desy

The Body Market by Elizabeth Cohen

Foreword from The Measure of Our Success by Jonah Martin Edelman

Mother's Voice by Robert Creeley

Autumn Roses by Elizabeth Engstrom

Passing Away by Dusty Sklar

Breast Fed by Larry Schug

The Annuity by Marge Piercy

What She Left Me by Judy Doenges

Rubberband Dances by Delisa Heiman

Shooters by Leo Connellan

Writing My Mother's Life by Elayne Clift

Feminism, Art, and My Mother Sylvia by Andrea Dworkin

Going Deeper into the Album by Larry Rubin

On Learning of the Death of My Great-Grandmother in Childbirth at Age 18 by Em Case (Droppo)

Grandmother by Ruth Harriet Jacobs

Making the Wine by Marisa Labozzetta

Dead Baby Speaks by Toi Derricotte

50 Mothers of Renowned Wolf by Evelyn Roehl

Beautiful Bellies by Daryn Stier, Photographer

Beyond the Whole

Mother and Daughter, A Dynamic Duo Indeed by Jackie Fitzpatrick

Heat by Jameson Currier

Two Poems by Tom Baer

The Scorpion Wore Pink Shoes by Janice Levy

Mommy Wars by Kim Hirsh

Real Enough by Alison McGhee

The Child Has Seen the Wind by John Grey

Tito Fuentes, Topps #177, 1967 by Frank Van Zant

Life Ain't Never Settled by LaVonne Dressinia McIver

Conception by Galway Kinnell

Giving Birth by Margaret Atwood

Mother's Milk: A Dairy Tale by Gayle Brandeis

The Woman With the Wild-Grown Hair Keeps Her Vigil by Nita Penfold

Like Her Uterus Ripped Out by Lonna Lisa Williams

The Fault by Sondra Zeidenstein

Small Things by Sarah Willis

The Christmas Ritual by Susan Clayton-Goldner

from 7 Folk Songs with Refrains by Vainis Alexsa

Black Bear Eating Salmon by George Keithley

Child Has No Say by Ellen Goodman

After-Shock by J. B. Bernstein

Breast Feeding by Neil Carpathios

The Last Wild Horses in Tennessee by Vivien Shipley

The Envelope by Maxine Kumin

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