Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy by Elisabeth Horan

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—

Follow her on Twitter @ehoranpoet

*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.

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