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Monday, March 26, 2012

Spotlight on Margaret Kramar and Karen Lockett Warinsky

We are honored to introduce two contributors to our anthology, "Joy, Interrupted" on motherhood and loss, Margaret Kramar and Karen Lockett Warinsky.

Margaret Kramar

Margaret Kramar contributed the piece “The Dining Hall,” which is about “the unexpected and not very readily acknowledged grief parents feel when they send their child away to college. This story is framed by the vantage point of Benjamin's sophomore year at Grinnell College, but explores his growing independence and the memorable day that we brought him to Grinnell for the first time.”

Margaret is on track for receiving a PhD. in literature from the University of Kansas this spring (2012), and for her creative dissertation she wrote a memoir about a disabled child who died titled, “My Son the Actor.” She says, “My reward for completing the degree will be to get sheep and/or goats. We live out in the country in northeast Kansas and operate Hidden Hollow Farm, where we grow organic produce and raise free-range chickens.”

Her work has been in two anthologies : “Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages” and “Reading Lips and Other Ways to Overcome a Disability.” She also has an academic submission in “Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on the Pop Culture Phenomenon,” and in several magazines and newspapers.

Margaret has written extensively, almost exclusively, about loss and motherhood because she has a disabled child who died when he was ten years old.

She says, “Most representations of motherhood in the media are overly sentimentalized and create guilt, in that mothers are made to feel like they are inadequate. I like the magazine “Brain, Child” (usually)because it presents a more objective and intellectually-challenging perspective on motherhood issues.”

Margaret is looking forward to the publication of our anthology. Further, she suggests, “It would be exciting if we could have a public reading somewhere to get to meet each other and share.” Margaret can be reached by email at kramarmt@hotmail.com

Karen Lockett Warinsky

Karen Warinsky contributed “Departure for College” and “The Wheel.” “Departure for College” is a poem “reflecting on what it means to watch your young adult children go on to the next phase, and what it means for them.” “The Wheel” is about “a moment when you realize that everything is changing; about knowing your set pattern of life is about to be disrupted, and wondering how to feel about that.”

Professionally, Karen worked as a reporter for about 15 years, taught English in Japan in her late 20's from 1984-88, and now teaches high school English.

According to Karen, “Mothering my three children continues to be wonderful and difficult (they are 24, 21 and 16), and since 2007 I have been writing poetry and recently began having some success at getting published.”

She was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Montreal International Poetry Contest and her work can be seen at Crazy Pineapple Press www.crazypineapplepress.com; at redfez online at www.redfez.net, and at Redneck Press: Fried Chicken and Coffee www.friedchickenandcoffee.com

Karen says, “Departure for College was written mostly about my daughter and her friends the summer they graduated high school. Our son was still in college and we had to have our daughter live home one year to save money. Most of her friends were leaving that fall, and she was feeling very hurt and angry. For years I had heard about this break away time, but when it hit it truly was difficult to see them leave home.”

Also, Karen knew she had these two poems that would fit the theme of the book and thought others could appreciate them and understand what she had to say.

In terms of representations about motherhood, Karen says, “Of course Mary Cassatt's paintings are touching and masterpieces, and made me realize the sacrifice of motherhood in all those small moments we put in every day, but I also get a laugh out of that other side of motherhood: The “Throw Momma from the Train,” type humor, or the stereotypical nagging mothers in films are funny to me.”

Karen also says, “It is true that motherhood is the busiest, most intense ride you'll take in life, and when trouble hits you will feel like you won't make it through (yes, talking about teenagers here!), but hang in because once they realize you are valuable, the love is even better than when they were tiny babies and knew no better!!”

Karen can be reached at karen.warinsky@gmail.com

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