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New and sensitive ... raw, in-the-moment mothering feelings.
—Sarah Cannon, author of The Shame of Losing
In Birth of a Daughter, Samantha Kolber deftly reveals the private world of pregnancy and birth—the middle of the night and light of day worries about safety, connection, and intimacy, weighing what shifts, writing, "I am marked. I am one becoming two, becoming one / again...my body deceives me." Indeed, these poems are brave in their accounting of the pregnant, birthing body, the realities of mothering, and the territory we enter—"oh, these worlds we are now / you and I." Dailiness and milestones merge here, bringing us on a journey that is part emotional travelogue, part wonder, part weighing of generations and of our times, and part arrival at the precise awareness that, "I am witness. I am mother." Kolber's voice is an important one, honoring what is often kept hidden.
—Kerrin McCadden, author of Keep This to Yourself
In her startling, beautiful new collection, Birth of a Daughter, Samantha Kolber pulls us into the time-out-of-time experience of pregnancy and motherhood. Alert to the expanded "porous" boundaries of both body and self, Kolber writes with intimate, visceral authority: "I am / clearly awake." Like salt-water pearls, these raw, gorgeous poems glow, capturing the wild internal variations felt just holding a new child or toddler in your arms, exhausted and exhilarated. "I am me plus and minus the cells expunged to create you, daughter," Kolber writes, ever-attuned to the possibility of artistic sublimation to the hunger of her infant daughter. This collection affirms Kolber's territorial claim to the mother-as-artist: "sucking what light I make / into the core of you / oh, these worlds we are now."
—Megan Buchanan, author of Clothesline Religion
About the Author
Samantha Kolber has received a Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and a Vermont Poetry Society prize. Her poems have appeared in Mom Egg Review, Poems2Go, Tiny Seed Journal, Rise Up Review, Hummingbird, Hunger Mountain, Minerva Rising, The Meadow, and other journals and anthologies. She received her MFA from Goddard College and completed post-grad studies at Pine Manor College’s Solstice MFA Program. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Montpelier, Vermont, where she coordinates author events and marketing for Bear Pond Books and is the Poetry Series Editor at Rootstock Publishing. Listen to her poems, including "Birth of a Daughter," at samanthakolber.com.
“Birth of a Daughter is an honest and vivid portrait of new motherhood. It is a chapbook about intimacy and love, both for the child and for the self. ‘There is a world at my fingertips. / Or, I am the world — fingertipped' Kolber writes in her poem ‘A(u)reola.’ These poems are a beautiful witness to that common, yet utterly profound occurrence of birth.” —Bianca Stone, author of The Mobius Strip Club of Grief