Stories of Motherhood: All Awash

by Brianna Van Dyke June 11, 2009

I just had a baby girl eight weeks ago and also just sent the 13th issue to the printers. Whew! I am all awash in motherhood and writing.

My daughter's birth has me contemplating something Debra Rienstra says in her book Great with Child about how "rarely birth stories have entered our cultural discourse." What with all the fantastic suspense, drama, and beauty of birth, I find this somewhat remarkable. (And yet, it does make sense that new mothers have rarely found the means or time to put their stories onto paper.)

Thus began my search for well-told birth stories, i.e., mothers writing. These are are few of my findings so far... English professor, poet, mother, and theologian--Debra Rienstra chronicles her pregnancy and the birth and infancy of her son in her memoir Great with Child. It is a beautiful meditation on spirituality, the body, and motherhood. (Also, it was recently republished by one of my favorite small presses, WordFarm.)

I discovered this little zine MotherVerse when the editor was printing it on her home printer and stapling the pages together herself. It has since grown into a full-blown "literary journal" and provides a much-needed publication venue for stories, poetry and essays of birth and motherhood.

Stacy Barton has been published in RUMINATE a few times and she is a brilliant writer who often speaks about motherhood with humor and authenticity. Her blog, the art of story, is a great inspiration for writers in general as well as writers who may also be parents.

The search continues.

And stay tuned for the editor's note in Issue 13, where you will find my own tales of birth, writing, and art.  And please post a comment below with any of your own findings on this subject--I would love to hear them!

Peace,
Brianna
P.S. I was recently given the chance to write a blog post for Utne Magazine Online--they asked me to share five of my favorite links on the web. You can check it out here.


Brianna Van Dyke
Brianna Van Dyke

Author

Brianna Van Dyke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruminate. She loves Annie Dillard, the ocean, encouraging others, and barbeques along the Poudre River. Brianna lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their two children on a working CSA farm. She also enjoys leading retreats in the Ruminate Barn and taking retreats, too.



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