Amy Dryansky’s alter ego is the perennial late bloomer, Pokey Mama. I have two poetry collections: How I Got Lost So Close to Home & Grass Whistle.
Grass Whistle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) received the Massachusetts Book Award for poetry. How I Got Lost So Close to Home, won the New England/New York Award from Alice James. Individual poems are included in several anthologies and journals, including Barrow Street, Harvard Review, New England Review, Memorious, Orion, The Sun, Tin House and The Women’s Review of Books. I’ve been awarded two poetry fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and I’m the former poet laureate for the city of Northampton, MA.
In addition to my life as a poet, I have two kids and work full-time. The conditions of parenting and working figure largely in my poetry–how could they not? After my kids were born and I was suffering from terrible writer’s block, I was able to spend a year as an Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. My research project was to look at the impact of motherhood on women poets, i.e., think about why I couldn’t write anymore. It was a lifesaver, and not just because I got to be alone a few hours a week in my tiny, clean, empty office. (Though that was awesome.)
While at the FCWSRC I started a blog, Pokey Mama, which you can read here, to explore the experience of trying to understand and integrate the experiences of mother and poet. I wrote Pokey Mama for me, but also for the many, many women out there struggling to wrap their minds around their reality as artist AND…
Pokey Mama is for you, if that sounds like you. I hope it helps.