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Monday, April 16, 2012

Spotlight on Merrill Edlund and Kim Hensley Owens

We are pleased to share these interviews with Merrill Edlund and Kim Hensley Owens.

Merrill Edlund

Merrill Edlund contributed various poems to this anthology, including “Kalem,” “Leaving Earth before you planned,” “When I miss my kids,” and “They Said.” She can be reached at gedlund@shaw.ca
and on twitter @meedlund

What are your poems about?
“Kalem” is a short poem about my oldest child leaving home and travelling to Australia. “Leaving Earth before you planned” is dedicated to a friend who died shortly after her third child was born. “When I miss my kids” is a poem about grieving the loss of children and how my husband helped me cope. “They said” is a poem about miscarriage and the responses I experienced when I had my first miscarriage.

Please tell us about yourself.
A mother of three grown children and one grandpuppy, I am a poet and writer of short stories and creative nonfiction. I currently teach online high school English and Creative Writing.

Where have you been published?
My recent manuscript of poetry titled “a dissimilar memory” is currently looking for a home. I am also working on a chap book. “Blue Skies Poetry Worth Architectural Magazine.”

Why did you contribute to this anthology?
The topic of motherhood and loss was a perfect fit for my writing. My poetry focuses on being a mother, loss, love, and marriage which I felt would contribute to the anthology.

What other representations of motherhood move you?
Of Women Born, Adrienne Rich
The Birth House, Ami McKay
A Fine Daughter, Catherine Simmons Niven
A Complicated Kindness, Miriam Toews
Hanna's Daughters, Marianne Fredriksson

Kim Hensley Owens

Kim Hensley Owens contributed “On Being Luck” and her blog is at okhensley.wordpress.com.

What is your piece about?
“On Being Lucky” is a first-person creative nonfiction examination of the many and varied losses of my friends, at all stages of their lives, through the prisms of 1) my own "lucky" status as a mother of two without losses and 2) a society that places burdens of expectation on women's procreation.

Where have you been published?
Most of my published writing is in academic journals such as Rhetoric Review, Written Communication, Pedagogy, and Enculturation. I have written about mothering and work in a career advice piece for Inside Higher Ed and with co-authors in Composition Studies.

What moved you to contribute to this anthology?
I have been researching childbirth for several years, and have learned a lot about loss through that work. Perhaps because of my familiarity with childbirth, and just having many friends who have had fertility issues and losses of all types, I have heard more loss stories than I could process. The call for papers for this anthology allowed me to write about those losses, which affected me even though they weren't my own. The only book I know of about loss is Motherhood Lost, by Linda Layne. I thought a book collecting many women's stories in different styles was important and would be valuable for women to not feel alone. I hoped my story, reflecting many women's losses, would speak to the audience for this anthology. I also hoped it would in some way honor my friends' losses. Loss is significant, and it is also common, and that dual truth is important.

What other representations of motherhood have you enjoyed?
What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty. (fiction) Breastwork, by Allison Bartlett. (academic monograph) Textual Mothers, Maternal Texts, Ed. Andrea O'Reilly and Elizabeth Podnieks. (academic edited collection) Steel Magnolias!

Kim can be reached by email at okhensley@gmail.com

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