I am excited to say that in May 2019, I will be publishing a chapbook by Elisabeth Horan: 'Bad Mummy/Stay Mummy', which explores her experiences of Postpartum depression. Lis has a unique voice and an important story to tell: listen.
Elisabeth sheds some light on 'Bad Mummy/Stay Mummy':
So, my very first publication, ever, was at The Feminist Wire, in October, 2016. To my humble delight and awe, they accepted “Wellbutrin in my Brain” and “Stay Mommy”, as they felt this was important work to share with others suffering with mental illness and specifically, PPD. I’d like to show you all, as I’m still so proud of it -
That said, this chap has also been looking for its home since then… it took Isabelle and Fly on the Wall, to see that these poems want to help others… and want to let them know --- you are not alone… in your pain. Not alone. <3
This collection is of poems I wrote when I was starting my poetry career in earnest following the birth of my second son. He was a challenging baby, sure and cried and was “colicky”, whatever that means… I did not sleep well for 3 years. That didn’t help things. But I also think that like in the moment of the pregnancy and birth, something in my brain chemically went off. I lost myself. I became so incredibly depressed and detached and fragmented I could hardly function. Yet I had a baby and a two year old to care for. I was alone. I was misunderstood. My social anxiety was taken for oddness and bitchery. I lost many friends. I almost succumbed. (Hospitalized, running away, suicide, all things which floated nastily about). I went on meds got therapy and held on for dear life (I had nipples to pump). I am better now. I wrote this so that other mums may never feel as alone and hopeless and misunderstood as I did. Hang on. I love you. Your children love you. With the right help, it may never go completely away (I struggle every day)... but it can ease and you can survive it.
My many great thanks to Isabelle for letting me finally share this message with the world. It’s a dream come true and greatly cathartic for little old me. All love, Elisabeth
I asked Lis which writers inspire her...
Plath. I understand her. The full length of this is my tribute to her and me talking in her kitchen before her suicide. I understand what it is to love your children but also feel like a horrible mother and want to die. Bad. I know. But the illness of PPD does terrible things in the mind.
Dickinson. The elegance and subtlety and passion and pain. I want to do that too.
Frost. If there was ever a poet who taught me to hear rhythm in my head it was Frost. I think he writes like the gaits of a horse… the walk, the trot the canter, the gallop. Always in control of the craft. Think of “Stopping by Woods”, the most cadenced equine canter I’ve ever known.
So, I like to think if I could combine these three and borrow a bit of their essence, I would have the courage to plumb deep into the darkness of my mind; the restraint and elegance of an Amherst winter, and the craft, the craft to hold it all tightly wound together ---
I also am awed by all of the poets working every day…publishing, dreaming. Putting it all out there. I am inspired by the courage and tenacity and brilliance of all these poets writing alongside me… on twitter and fb and paper. Deep love and respect and gratitude to you all. <3 You make me a better writer and a happier person.
Who is Elisabeth Horan, you ask?
Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature from Vermont advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain - especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. She is a regular contributor at Mojave He(art), TERSE. Journal, Milk + Beans, Feminine Collective, and Rhythm & Bones Lit.
Elisabeth’s poetry books include “Pensacola Girls”, Bone & Ink Press, 2018; “Was it R*pe”, from Vessel Press, July 2019; and "Just to the Right of the Stove", Hedgehog Poetry Press, November, 2019.
Elisabeth’s mission is to hold up and support all writers and artists, so that we may never journey alone in this. Collaboration and love, baby-
Elisabeth is honored to serve as Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine. She recently earned her MFA from Lindenwood University and received a 2018 Best of the Net Nomination from Midnight Lane Boutique.
IG @ ehoranpoet
Tumblr @ ehoranpoet
'Stay Mummy/Bad Mummy' - May 2019
"Just to the Right of the Stove", Hedgehog Poetry Press, November, 2019.