About Pokey Mama

Pokey Mama’s alter ego is the perennial late bloomer, Amy Dryansky. I’m the married mother of two children, now 19 and 16.  In addition to my work as a poet, I work at Hampshire College.

I have two poetry collections (How I Got Lost So Close to Home & Grass Whistle)

My second book, Grass Whistle (Salmon Poetry, Ireland) received the 2014 Massachusetts Book Award for poetry. My first, How I Got Lost So Close to Home, won the New England/New York Award from Alice James. My work is included in several anthologies and individual poems appear in a variety of journals, including Barrow Street, Harvard Review, New England Review, Memorious, Orion and The Women’s Review of Books.

I’ve also been fortunate to get fellowships/residencies to the MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Villa Montalvo and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference (all pre-kids, of course).

After my kids were born and I was wandering around in a daze, 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.

I’m also working on some other projects, including this here blog. I’m writing Pokey Mama for me, but also for the many, many women out there struggling to wrap their minds around their reality as artist AND…

This is for you. I hope it helps.

6 thoughts on “About Pokey Mama

  1. lisa oram says:

    I just found your blog because we have a common friend who invited me to the mother/art celebration in Noho this Friday so I looked you up and soon I will meet you. I, also, am/was a poet but haven’t written a line since my children were born (now ages 13 and 10). I look so forward to hearing your work and following the blog.

  2. Julie Burke says:

    Hi Amy, a few years ago I worked one of the teacher’s aides in your son’s first-grade classroom. I came across your name while looking up the Nields recently to see what they were up to these days, and I recognized your name. I think I will really enjoy your blog and I plan to check back regularly! Now that I have 2 small kids of my own (ages 3 1/2 and 1) I think there is a lot here that I will read and nod my head and relate to. I also aspire to have my own blog someday and I enjoy reading other moms’ material for inspiration. Thanks! -Julie

    • pokey mama says:

      Hey Julie, so glad you found me and PM, and congrats on your new family–3 1/2 and 1 is a handful! Please keep in touch. I’d love to see your blog when you find time!

  3. Beth, Mom to Casey says:

    found your blog via the Nields. Really love your writing and look forward to more. Thank you for putting yourself out there 🙂

  4. Lisa says:

    Thank you – thank you Amy. I am sitting with my Mother’s day cup of coffee (on a tray!) reading Pokey Mama and feeling the words resonate. I am reminded of a funny/not-so-funny story of a woman who called a radio advice columnist to say that she wanted to be a good mother, but that she didn’t realize that her kids would need her for so long. When asked how old her kids were, she replied, “3 and 18 months.” With a 20-year-old, 17-year-old and 10-year-old my feeling that, “I didn’t realize they would need me so long.” might not be so tragi-comic, but my desperately-needed, last-gasp creative brain-space takes awesome might to carve out. Not only because “they still need me” but also because without youth it is even harder to believe in the value of what I want to do and express. I look forward to hear more adventures in slow-parenting (now I know what to call it). Thanks again.

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