What does this phrase mean to you?
This is the title of my current project: my second publication (first full-length). Yes, it’s taken this long to get moving….
All big subjects need a lot of time. This particular collection is finally, finally, feeling complete. After going through a number of changes; metamorphosing from Siren, to Sirens, to The Deeper Strata, and back to Sirens again – I discovered that all this was simply a way of distracting myself, or trying to underpin, some other irrelevant focus. When really all I needed to say, was the simple fact.
‘Unable Mother’ directly explores my experience of first-time motherhood. That’s all I want to say for now. I know a great many of you are mothers, so I’d be interested to know; what does this phrase mean to you?
Obviously, being a poet, the title encompasses an array of meanings and possibilities. Imagery is a good starting point if you’re looking to extend this into a writing exercise – think of one image that you associate with motherhood, birth, your child, the pregnancy – describe it as deftly, and in as a focused and concentrated way as you can. Time yourself. See what happens.
Two poems from this working collection ‘Teeth’ and ‘Anvil’ will feature in Ofi Press next month, a broadly distributed Mexican magazine. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/ofipress.mexico/
‘Melon Picker’, also from the collection, will appear in Helen Ivory’s infamous Ink Sweat and Tears in April 2017.
In February I’ll be performing a special selection of poems from Unable Mother at Verve, a new festival of poetry and spoken word in Sunny Birmingham – and on a podium no less! You can book your tickets here: http://vervepoetryfestival.com/http://vervepoetryfestival.com/
Please tweet your thoughts on first-time motherhood – email me (thank you all so much for your Sex and Death emails; there are many to get through!) or post a comment here. I always love to hear your thoughts…