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.
Many thanks to the author, publisher and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
I’m the first to admit I don’t always ‘get’ poetry, but I know what I love and that’s when I make a connection with a poem or collection and I found Bad Mommy, Stay Mommy to be both accessible, powerful and moving.
There is a move in social media and public organisations to bring the issues around mental health out into the public domain and to remove the stigma endured by those that suffer from this largely invisible illness. If we are honest many of us have suffered in some degree or other, but we don’t feel able to verbalise it. Elizabethan Horan can and does so with great passion and voice which is clear and honest. Its that, which makes this collection so moving and powerful. She does not sugar coat the pain endured by mothers who have suffered from the debilitating and painful condition postpartum depression, she gives it a voice and speaks for many, not just for herself. It makes for difficult reading on times, but the rewards are endless. In the first poem of the collection, My Self, Horan talks for me about how people don’t really know her or anyone left feeling isolated by this illness, how maybe during this period of depression people felt the need to protect their children from her. In the final line of the poem, she delivers one of the most powerful pieces of poetry I have read in some time;
But what you forget is that I am your sister, your husband, your mother, your lover. I am you in a mixed acrylic on a Pollack canvas.
Then in It’s My Mind Which Does This- she shows that her poetry gives a voice to those chronically debilitating feelings that plague those suffering from any form of depression, that it is all our own fault, that we in some way create our own misery!
It is my fault this whine, this
Off-key music in
Bad Mommy Stay Mommy is designed to give a voice to those mothers left silenced and shamed by the depression that crushes them after the birth of their child and we should all read it, to break that cycle of misunderstanding and give them a voice. Elizabeth Horan has produced a powerful and moving collection of poems that speak to us all, for even if we have not had children, we can all in some way learn from her words to open up and give a voice to those who lives are haunted by postpartum depression.
You can purchase this collection of Poetry from Amazon
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 & ehoranpoet