My thanks to the publisher, Fly on the Wall Poetry Press and Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.
I was instantly intrigued by Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy. My experience of motherhood with my firstborn was blighted by postnatal depression, and as a result I am fascinated by prose and poetry which embrace and explore the more negative aspects and emotions associated with being a new mother. It is a subject so often shuffled into a dark corner, hidden away as taboo. Women, such as Elisabeth Horan, who deliver their art with such vital honesty, encourage those difficult conversations to take place and, I hope, give new mothers who are also struggling the comfort and the knowledge that they are not alone.
Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy is a very personal and incredibly powerful collection of poetry. There is so much emotion stuffed into each word, the imagery is vivid and striking so that even when I perhaps didn’t ‘get’ the poem 100% in its entirety (and there were a few that flew over my head, I’ll admit), my imagination was thoroughly assaulted by identifiable visual snapshots which enabled me to piece together my own version, and which I found in turn sparked inspiration for my own writing.
I found reading this at times difficult in terms of the content. I read slowly to allow for reflection both of the poem and for myself, one such particular poem which really got to me, was ‘Keeping Tabs’ which I completely identified with.
I also found these poems healing to read. To know that someone else has voiced those doubts, those fears and feelings that I once had is very comforting, and the final poem, ‘Stay Mommy’ made my eyes leak profusely; concluding beautifully with a hopeful and uplifting high. The perfect ending to a powerful and important collection, one that I know I will return to in the future.
Elisabeth Horan was in the grip of postpartum depression after the birth of her second son, ‘red and writhing a salamander underfoot’. In this collection, Elisabeth finds the courage to survive. Uplifting, guttural: Horan leaves her reader roaring for more.
About the Author
Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, and is Co-Owner of Animal Heart Press. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique, and a 2018 Pushcart Prize Nomination from Cease Cows.
Elisabeth lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two young sons. When not being poet, she works as a secretary and loves riding horses & dancing the salsa—
*I received a copy of Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy from the publisher. The decision to read was my own, and this review forms my honest opinion.