My Mother Never Died Before & Other Poems
by Marcia B. Loughran
Scheduled Release Date: Jan 21, 2021
A Poetry Box Chapbook Prize Winner – 2nd Place
Because everybody has a mother. And everybody’s going to lose her.
A collection of poems inspired by one woman’s relationship with her mother, the chapbook My Mother Never Died Before and Other Poems sounds heavy, but lands light. The first half includes poems written after the mother’s death. The poet focuses on the everyday, mundane details—what the funeral home visit was like, how birds felt like messages, the unexpected realities of life without one’s mother. The second half pulls back the camera to include poems written before the death, which capture the ups and downs of the mother-child relationship. Wry humor and a companionable narrative style invite the reader in to one particular take on a universal story.
“My Mother Never Died Before is a joyful read, full of surprises. Marcia B. Loughran shows her versatility and variety while bringing a welcome dose of humor to this collection, which is hard to pull off in poems about death. The many familiar scenes here—shopping for caskets, cleaning out papers after a parent has died, touching their intimate objects like breath mints and combs—are all painted with such clarity and reality. Loughran takes a risk by beginning with the “after” poems and ending with the “before,” but the gamble pays off beautifully—the innocence of “before” makes the “after” all the more poignant in retrospect.”
—Amy Miller, Contest Judge, 2020
and author of The Trouble with New England Girls
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