The Long Devotion

Poets Writing Motherhood

Edited by Emily Pérez and Nancy Reddy

Foreword by Camille T. Dungy

Afterword by Carmen Giménez Smith

Title Details

Illustrations: 5 b&w

Trim size: 6.120in x 9.250in



Pub Date: 04/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6054-6

List Price: $26.95

The Long Devotion

Poets Writing Motherhood

Edited by Emily Pérez and Nancy Reddy

Foreword by Camille T. Dungy

Afterword by Carmen Giménez Smith

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

The Long Devotion is a collection of poems, essays, and writing prompts that celebrates motherhood and creates a space, as poet Molly Spencer has written, to "tell an unlovely truth about family life and not have to take it back."

The poets in this book represent and describe a wide range of experiences. They write about encountering the world anew through their children; intersections of parenting and race; single parenting; adoptive, foster, and step-parenting; life with chronic illness, mental illness, and disability; and the choice to remain childless. The book is divided into four parts. "Difficulty, Ambivalence, and Joy" considers the wonder and challenges of parenting-including infertility, pregnancy, miscarriage, and life with children-and trying to write in the midst of those demands. "The Body and the Brain" explores the cerebral and bodily labor of caregiving and writing. "In the World" brings parents and their children into contact with the natural and political landscape. Finally, "Transitions" looks at how parenting and writing change as children grow up. Poems range from linear narratives and imagistic lyric to poetry comics, speculative futures, and experimental forms. Essays and poems suggest ways to write through the disruptions and chaos of family life. Prompts invite readers to use the work in this book as a starting point for their own poetry.

As candid accounts of motherhood become more prevalent across literary, pop culture, and digital spaces, the way we talk about writing and mothering is changing. Poets have long challenged traditional motherhood narratives. This book brings together a new generation of exciting and provocative voices for the first time.

I loved reading this book-a compelling and timely anthology of poetry and nonfiction devoted to the theme of motherhood. . . .Editors Pérez and Reddy have taken care to organize four sections that offer real insight into the facets of mothering, and they are inclusive in their selections.

—Sandra Beasley, author of Made to Explode

This worthy book succeeds in its central aspirations: to realize the rich, creative synergies between writing and mothering; to offer sustainable strategies for navigating the demanding and undetermined intersections-bodily, psychologically, ethically, politically, etc.-of writing and mothering; and to promote the knowing of motherhood as valuable both to those who read and write through its lenses, as well as those who don't (yet) share this diverse vantage on humanity.

—Geffrey Davis, author of Night Angler

This anthology fulfills a need in the poetry anthology market because not only does it address "typical motherhood" and its challenges, but also single parenting, foster motherhood and adoption, and even more importantly, perspectives across class, race, and sexual preference.

—Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World

Emari DiGiorgio

Chanda Feldman

Pamela Hart

Shara Lessley

Erika Meitner

Jasminne Mendez

Lisa Moore

Chelsea Rathburn

Megan Snyder-Camp

Molly Spencer

Sasha West

About the Author/Editor

Emily Pérez (Editor)
EMILY PÉREZ is an English and gender studies instructor and grade-level dean at Colorado Academy. She is the author of What Flies Want, winner of the Iowa Prize; House of Sugar, House of Stone; and the chapbooks Backyard Migration Route and Made and Unmade. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

Nancy Reddy (Editor)
NANCY REDDY is associate professor of writing and first-year studies at Stockton University. She is the author of Pocket Universe; Double Jinx, a 2014 winner of the National Poetry Series; and the chapbook Acadiana. She lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.