‘This is a truly inspiring collection, all the more so for its wit and its grit, its poetry and its honesty; here we have women producing ‘good art’ despite – and often because of – ‘the pram in the hall.’
– Shelley Day
‘Essential reading for anyone who is a mother, or who had a mother, and is interested in how motherhood and creativity intertwine. Packed with top quality writing that serves to remind us that far from being marginal, the challenges of motherhood are central to the human condition and the dual creative role of writer and mother is both conflicting and super-charging.’
– Helen Cadbury, author of the Sean Denton series of crime novels.
‘On reading Writing Motherhood, with all its scope and complexity – I felt relief. It was like holding onto a familiar length of rope; you know the weight, the grip, the exact roughness of it. It was like being tossed a life-line.’
– Helen Calcutt, Wales Arts Review
Debates and debacles surrounding the issue of motherhood have hounded women’s writing for decades, and despite advances in feminism, equality, maternity leave and childcare, we are still asking female writers with children how they find time to write.
Through a unique combination of interviews, poems, and essays by established writers, Writing Motherhood interrogates contemporary representations of motherhood in media and literature, queries why so many novels dealing with serious women’s issues are packaged in pink covers with wellies and tea cups, and portrays the exquisite moments of motherhood as often enriching artistic practice rather than hindering it.
Entries include an insightful interview with Pulitzer prize-winning poet Sharon Olds, excerpts from Hollie McNish’s motherhood diary, Carol Ann Duffy’s beautiful portrait of being and having a daughter, and specially commissioned poems by Sinead Morrissey, Rebecca Goss, and many others. Crime fiction fans will enjoy CL Taylor’s witty essay, ‘How Motherhood Turned Me to Crime’, and Nuala Ellwood’s heart-wrenching depiction of miscarriage and loss.
By engaging with both the creation of literature by mothers and literary representations of motherhood, Writing Motherhood is a vital exploration of the complexities of contemporary sexual politics, publishing, artistic creation, and 21st Century parenting.