Being a mother in today’s society is tough. Really, really tough. With the advances in social media your whole life is plastered over the internet. You can’t help but feel a little judged. Comments, opinions and unwanted advice fill your inbox, your head and set you up to feel like a failure before you’ve even given birth. You spend every waking moment looking after a tiny human to the extent that you forget to take care of yourself. It’s a dark and lonely place. You can’t help but tumble down the rabbit hole and have a tea party with the mad hatter. After all, we’re all mad here…right?
Today I have the honour and pleasure of kicking off the blog tour for Bad Mommy Stay Mommy (Published 10th May) By Elisabeth Horan. A big thank you to the publishers Fly On The Wall Poetry for my copy to review and as always to Anne for the invitation. Sit back, grab a cuppa and let’s dive into some poetry together. After you.
About The Author
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.
Elisabeth is Editor at Animal Heart Press and Poetry Editor at Anti-Heroin Chic. Elisabeth also glides along as Co-Editor of IceFloe Press, Toronto.
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 Nomination from Cease Cows.
She has books forthcoming with Fly on the Wall Poetry Press, Twist in Time Press, Rhythm & Bones Press, Pen & Anvil Press and Hedgehog Poetry Press.
Elisabeth lives in Vermont with her tolerant partner and two young sons. When not being poet, she works as a secretary and loves riding horses & dancing the salsa—
Follow her @ehoranpoet & ehoranpoet.com
Bad Mommy Stay Mommy
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.
I felt a huge wave of relief cascade calmly over me as I immersed myself in this book. Finally, a poetic voice showing the harsh reality of mental health combined with motherhood. Horan stands boldly naked in front of reader, her battle scars proudly on display. I love it! It’s raw and honest about how mental health can consume your very soul.
Horan’s poems ooze with pain and suffering. She does a skilful job of normalising the struggles of mental health. Mothers are often shamed for suffering with postpartum and forced to hide it. It’s a topic that NEEDS to be discussed more and let loose out into the wild. Horan is speaking to these vulnerable women through her poetry, letting them know they are not alone. These poems are laced with emotions of the heart. Powerful, inspiring words that open the readers eyes to a hidden unknown world of hopelessness.
“Here I go again
down the goddamn rabbit hole
chasing the oily smell
of my past as only I can do-“
I found I Hate Elisabeth Horan, hit close to home for me personally. I could relate to the self loathing and hatred of oneself. I found comfort knowing I wasn’t the only one with these thoughts. That much needed friend to confide in was there all along, right in front of me. I strongly believe that this sincere book of poetry will help many women. It’s a revolution and needs to be heard, spoken loudly around the world.
“I hate myself. I am a weak, sad woman. I am bad, I yelled at my kids last night. I was eating my own heart – fed it out as bloody rags for dinner,”
The way Horan uses imagery in her poems is delicately beautiful. She knows how to craft her words, stitching them together like a patchwork quilt. I feel honoured that Horan has shared such deep personal experiences in her writing. There is so much confusion, torment and despair. When I finished reading, all I wanted to do was give Horan a big hug and suggest drowning our sorrows over a bottle of wine one summer’s evening. My heart ached and I could feel the tears welling up before I even finished the book.
“Ah yes, he was lifted right out of the smiling incision
and laid skin to skin, on my breast.”
This was an intense reading experience. It forced me to come to terms with not only how I have suffered with mental health but made me aware of how women everywhere are dealing with this in silence. Everyone expects this magical experience when they become a mother. They hype it up to such perfection that when you fail to meet the standards you crash head first into the dirt. No wonder mothers suffer with mental health when so much is expected from them the minute they see those two daunting pink lines.
Horan’s writing is such a refreshing sight to read. She is blunt and honest about the darker side of being a mother. I raise my lukewarm tea to you Horan, well done for speaking up for those of us who struggle too.
I give Bad Mommy Stay Mummy By Elisabeth Horan a Four out of Five paw rating.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially mothers struggling with their mental health. Horan speaks the truth and doesn’t hold back. It’s comforting to know that you are not alone as it is easy to get lost in a sea of a thousand voices.
Thank you Horan, your poetry is reassuring to read when one falls into the darkness. Such a comfort to see that blindingly bright light at the end of the tunnel. There is always still hope.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below. Enjoy!
Elisabeth Horan Websitehttps://www.ehoranpoet.com
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