Sunday, September 1, 2019

Spiritual Midwifery + Labor Day

I’m delighted that my new chapbook, Spiritual Midwifery, has come out from Red Bird on Labor Day weekend. It’s a pun, get it?! Really, some of the poems are actually about the birth of babies and some are about, in a way, the spirit laboring to be born.

The title poem is in honor of another book with the same title about actual midwifery, at a place called The Farm, where women could go have natural childbirth during a time in the USA when hospital labor & delivery were the norm. Midwives were prevented from doing their work during that time. Now there is a nice balance, with nurse midwives helping women throughout their pregnancies and with all kinds of childbirth experiences. I read that other Spiritual Midwifery to prepare me for the birth of my first child, for all the ways of going through labor, and for all the things that could go wrong as well as right. It helped keep me calm and breathing through natural childbirth with midwives in a hospital.

Labor Day is a celebration of the rights of workers, who need good wages, decent hours, and, importantly, time off! Poetry, as my fellow poets out there know, is a labor of love. And so often, it is also a labor of love for poetry book editors, designers, and publishers, who are unpaid or underpaid, just like the poets.  I’d love you to order my book straight from Red Bird Chapbooks as a way of honoring all that work and all those workers. And thank you!

This beautiful cover is based on a painting called Looking Back, by Tony Rio. Sorry, you can’t buy it. It belongs to me. It’s a little fragile, having come through a house fire, so it has some water damage that 1) adds to the smudged look and 2) has disconnected it from its frame, but a big thank you to those fire fighters, who got us safely through that experience some years ago. I’m glad I’ll be walking with and for all kinds of workers in the Labor Day Parade!

1 comment:

Cally said...

If you are interested, there are a few books written by, or in interviews of midwives working in Alabama when doctors took over but didn't/wouldn't cover many of the areas outside of the hospitals. Two come to mind:

1. Listen to Me Good: The Story of an Alabama Midwife by Margaret Charles Smith and Linda J. Holmes

2. Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story by Onnie Lee Logan and Katherine Clark