The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are pleased to announce the 19th edition of this scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. #JoinMAMA

August 1, 2016 Megan Wynne and Susan Vispoli

Art by Megan Wynne (Birth, 2016)

“My three year old daughter and I collaborated to reenact her birth, while standing in the foyer of my parent’s house. I grew up in that house, and I am also raising my daughter there. She is being born into the complex and conflicted legacy of motherhood that I inherited and which is embodied in that house. As I give birth to my daughter I pass it on to her, and through her it will continue, from generation to generation. In this ritualistic exercise we act out our intertwined and mirrored identities. We symbiotically define each other, and the line between us is blurred. The flipped image depicts a parallel inverse experience of the same act. My daughter grows up and out of me, as she gives birth to me as a mother. She grows from me and I become her roots, always attached to her, never erased from her identity.”

More about Megan Wynne

“I am interested in the complex psychology of intimate human relationships, and the multifaceted and shifting nature of self-perception. I explore the hidden motivations behind personal beliefs and behaviors. I am also interested in the continuum between society’s manipulation of those beliefs and behaviors and the way in which society is defined by individuals. In relationships of interdependence, people often blur, mask, mirror, and project invented identities onto one another. In addition, the dynamics of power can shift in unexpected, subtle, and insidious ways. I often use myself and those close to me in my work in performative and autobiographical scenarios to explore these ideas.”

Poem by Susan Vespoli

When my daughter was a toddler
she stroked my cheek like it was the silk
edge of a blanket and pressed
the nipple-ends of soft balloons
into the plastic mouths of dollsand when she grew breasts
boys flocked around her
like birds to our backyard
come to pluck seeds
from the center of a sunflowerand then her hands gained skill
to text friends, flick cigarettes
from the back porch, play Bad Fish
on guitar strings, and flip her middle
finger into the air like a slim bombuntil it finally folded back up, resting
in the cupped palm of the woman
who smiles at me from an exam table
with her eyes as bright as a camera flash
at the blip, blip, blip of a lit star that will be Molly.
(Originally published in Mom Egg Review Vol. 14 “Change”).Susan Vespoli lives in Phoenix where she teaches English at a downtown community college, rides her bike along the canals, and walks her 3-legged dog Jack. Her poetry and prose have been published online and in various print anthologies and journals.