MamaBlogger365 – Mother-Centric Lit by Marjorie Tesser
I edit a publication called The Mom Egg, an annual literary collection of poetry, fiction, creative prose and art. The Mom Egg publishes works by “mothers about everything, and everyone about mothers and motherhood.”
Why is a mother-centric literary publication important?
The demands, pleasures, and monopolization of time and mental energy of motherhood can be overwhelming. How does this affect us as artists? Creative mothers need a welcoming venue that fosters artistic expression.
While the media tends to homogenize mothers into broad classifications (soccer moms, tiger moms, “good” moms, “bad” moms, assumptions based on ethnicity, age, sexuality, etc.), mothers are of course individual and diverse. Artistic portrayals of experiences of motherhood, both from the point of view of the mother and the mothered, have traditionally been undervalued as subject matter for art. The Mom Egg places such works, from a very diverse group of writers, in the forefront.
The experience of motherhood also impacts differently on an artist’s worldview in areas outside of mothering: our views of sex roles, politics, war, conservation, and more, are influenced by our experience. A mother-centric publication ensures the presence of informed voices on matters of global interest.
Few of us want to be “ghettoized” or thought of as solely a “mother-writer.” But the presence of a publication that is friendly to mothers who write helps get some important artists’ voices out into the world where they can be read and recognized. In a world where women are often underrepresented in publishing awards and national media (see, for example, http://www.slate.com/id/2283605/), The Mom Egg (and a handful of others, such as Mamazina, Literary Mama, and Hip Mama) helps even the odds.
Every journal is, in a sense, a community of artists. The Mom Egg writers and artists form a vibrant and exciting neighborhood, a venue for intellectual and creative alchemy. The works—thoughtful, zany, irreverent, lyrical—seem to converse, even argue, with each other. They shine a light on the pivotal experience of many of our lives, and out from it.
The Mom Egg was started in 2003 by Joy Rose and Alana Free under the auspices of Mamapalooza. An annual print issue comes out each May. More poetry, prose, reviews, interviews, submissions guidelines, and discount subscription info are on the website http://themomegg.com.
Marjorie Tesser is the author of THE IMPORTANT THING IS…(Firewheel Editions 2010), a poetry chapbook/game, winner of the 2009 Firewheel Chapbook Award.