It’s mid-May, a time that feels like life is set to fast-forward, the momentum toward school’s end undeniable. Summer is coming and, for many, carefully crafted schedules and guaranteed childcare will evaporate like hot air over pavement. I both dread and look forward to the summer months. I’m grateful to no longer be packing lunches and rushing out the door each morning, but I also struggle with the constantly changing schedule, with different camp pickup and drop-off times, and then with vacations that are fun but require planning and packing and a disruption to routine.
Whether your children are in the other room or miles away from you, I hope you can find a quiet place to sit down and immerse yourself in the words and musings of your fellow mothers. It is always such a joy to review each issue before we publish, and marvel at how Literary Mama editors across time zones select and polish such beautiful work. In the poems “I Don’t Buy My Children Toy Guns” and “The Bear,” poets wrestle with wanting to protect their children from the world. Both reminded me of Maggie Smith’s “Good Bones.” Speaking of Maggie, this issue features a review of her new memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, and I was lucky enough to interview her about writing the hard parts of life and choosing prose over poetry for this content. Don’t miss that conversation in “Prose Like a Poet and Permission Slips.”
For anyone who has struggled with infertility, I suggest Rae Katz’s stunning creative nonfiction piece, “How To Have a Miscarriage.” Follow that up with the heartfelt and heartwarming profile of Amy Klein, author of The Trying Game. If you feel like you don’t measure up as a mom (because how could you, given the standards we are expected to uphold), might I recommend the reviews of Sara Peterson’s Momfluenced or Sarah M. Wells’s American Honey? Both will help you feel less alone, because we’re all doing the best we can.
This issue also features flash fiction about what’s happening in the Ukraine, a story about hidden family secrets, another relatable comic by Katia Wish, a literary reflection on how grief affects writing, and so much more.
We’re grateful you’re here. Literary Mama is, and always has been, a labor of love, and if a piece resonates with you, we hope that you might share it with others.