Imagine receiving a letter from your mother a few years after she died. Imagine the letter is blank. That is the story our writer tells us this week. 

Jack Grapes, renowned writing teacher and award-winning poet reads a poem he wrote 50 years ago after the death of his mother. He hadn't read it in decades, and it brought up a lot of unexpected feelings.

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is Last of the Outsiders Vol:1. For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

"To begin with, this is not a story about my mother. She and I were not to enter the picture for a number of years. It’s another mother's story- of a ghost, a shadowy presence that moved along the distant edges of my childhood, whose memory was in the custody of others reluctant to part with it or even let it see the light of day." -Jon Wise

Jon Wise lives in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans, with his wife Gail and their Australian terrier Owen. He has called the Crescent City home for most of his life and is grateful that he could; though he retains an affinity for the northwest part of the state and the stories it contains. A lawyer by trade, Jon has often turned to writing as both a creative outlet and a way of coming to terms with the world and his brief place in it. He has published poetry and short stories in literary reviews in Louisiana and Arkansas.

 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

We're telling stories. 

Raw honest unapologetic episode about life after the death of this writer's son. She holds nothing back.

Alexis Rhone Fancher is an award winning poet and photographer. She has been published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, Plume, Tinderbox, Cleaver, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen…, State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, Enter Here, and Junkie Wife

The Dead Kid Poems, the follow up to State of Grace, is available now on Amazon. 

Alexis’s photographs are published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Heyday, and Pit-head Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. Since 2013, she has been nominated more than 20 times for the Pushcart Prize. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly.

The poems in this episode are: 

Cruel Choices -winner of the Pangolin Prize, nominated for The Pushcart Prize (pub in ASKEW, and in Amarylis, UK)

Keeping Things Cold (pub in Diode)

Snow Globe (pub in The MacGuffin)

You can find Alexis Rhone Fancher here -

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexis.fancher 

Website: www.alexisrhonefancher.com

Links to her books:

The Dead Kid Poems

Junkie Wife - Moontide

Junkie Wife 

Enter Here

State of Grace

How I lost my Virginity to Michael Cohen and Other Heart Stab Poems

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell.Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

Find out more about us at www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

 

 

 

We're telling stories.

Today’s guest is a best selling novelist and an all around wonderful writer. She wrote a beautiful piece for this podcast and then called us with a special request-- that we keep her identity anonymous.

Who doesn't speak to their mother?

What do you do when you have a toxic relationship with your mom? When the mother you want, is not the mother you have? When you are looking for courage or permission to put your well-being first, to live in your truth? What do you do when you don't want to hurt your mom, but continuing the relationship you two have set up is making you miserable? What lesson will you teach your kids if you disconnect? Or on the flip side, what will you teach them if you don't?

Self-love is not a bad word.

Life lessons are all around us. And one big lesson to be learned from today’s show is, ‘the way a mother handles her divorce can make or break her relationship with her children going forward’.

Every nugget of wisdom that can save us time along our journey of self awareness, in our effort to evolve into a higher self, is of value. And this episode is chocked full of those nuggets.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners and songwriters, to stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell.

Find out more about us at:

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

on Facebook and Instagram @ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother 

Benjamin Davis shares his poem, The Playlist At My Mother’s Funeral. We talk about how his mother would like a party when she dies which got him thinking of the playlist and how the songs that remind him of his mother and also track his memories with her throughout his childhood. Our conversation went from his rebellious teens and how he thought his parents showed great restraint for not throwing him in the basement and only feeding him scraps to the time when we all come to the realization that all the adults in our life are just winging it. 

He also talks about his book King of Fu. He describes it as a magical realism, memoir, poem. Where the adults are described as supervisors and only distinguished by their job description. Until he is in trouble and needs a protector. At this point his mom turns from Homeopathic Doctor to a magical being, Mother. Mom vanquishes bullies and helps him when he is in trouble, but when the trouble passes and he no longer needs her, she becomes Homeopathic Doctor again. This episode is filled with whimsy and coming of age realizations.

Benjamin Davis, is an American journalist and author of The King of FU, living in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  If you need anything from him, he’s likely antagonizing his girlfriend by publishing humorous anecdotes about their love life in P.S. I Love You.

Links to Benjamin Davis

Website: https://benjamindaviswriter.com

The King of FU: http://kingoffu.online 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D2YYL6S

Medium: https://medium.com/@benjamindaviswriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjamindaviswriter


Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/benjamindavis


Instagram: @davis.benjamin.s

We’re telling stories

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 If you like this episode help us out by sharing it with friends, rate and leave us a review. Thank you Lupe &Katie

Follow us on social media or on our website

 

 

Tresha  Faye Haefner shares with us a poem about her childhood in paradise California. We talk about the wants and rebellion of youth and how when you’re a kid with the security of a loving family, you don’t have the life experience to appreciate just how lucky you are.

She also shares how one should listen to a poem.

Several of our brilliant guests came to us through Tresha - Alexis Rhone Fancher (Cruel Choices ep 6) Elya Braden (How to Be a Bad Mother ep 8), and Kelly Grace Thomas (How the Body is Passed Down ep 9)

Tresha Faye Haefner is a writer, editor, workshop-facilitator, and founder of The Poetry Salon, Los Angeles where she uses her rich knowledge to guide other writers into accessing their authentic, creative voice. She spent ten years teaching English, Social Studies and Creative Writing in private schools, before receiving an M.A. Degree in Humanistic Psychology, with a specialization in creativity studies, from Saybrook University. She has been an active member and teacher at California Poets in the Schools, helped to curate the CPITS Anthology of Lesson Plans, Poetry Crossing, and has been a grant recipient through the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Artist-In-Residence program.

Outside traditional academy instruction, Tresha has learned at the feet of established, innovative poets such as Kim Addonizio, Sally Ashton, Ellen Bass, Gabrielle Calvacoressi, Brendan Constantine, Matthew Dickman, Jack Grapes, Suzanne Lummis, Eloise Klein Healy, Naomi Shihab-Nye, and founder of the Poetry Depths Mystery School, Kim Rosen. Her own work has been published in several journals, including BloodLotus, The Cincinnati Review Fourth River, Hunger Mountain, Pirene’s Fountain, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, and Rattle. She is the recipient of the 2011 Robert and Adele Schiff Poetry Prize, a 2015 Pushcart nominee, and author of the chapbook Take This Longing from Finishing Line Press. She continues to read widely, attend regular readings and workshops, and learn from every poet she meets.

Currently Tresha lives in Los Angeles, where she is founder of The Poetry Salon, a thriving artistic community that all levels of expertise, who can choose between one-day writing workshops, online e-classes and in-depth advanced core classes. Participants showcase their work four times a year at cumulative class readings, and those women and men have gone on to publish award-winning, cutting-edge work and even teach creative writing classes of their very own.

All of her offerings are on her website www.thepoetrysalon.com where you can subscribe to the blog and other announcements with the button at the bottom of the home page. There's also our just-released e-course How to Think Like a Poet

 

We’re telling stories 

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Imagine receiving a letter from your mother a few years after she died. Imagine the letter is blank. That is the story our writer tells us this week. 

Jack Grapes, renowned writing teacher and award-winning poet reads a poem he wrote 50 years ago after the death of his mother. He hadn't read it in decades, and it brought up a lot of unexpected feelings.

Jack Grapes, is a poet, playwright, actor, teacher and founding editor of the literary journal ONTHEBUS. He is the author of 13 books of poetry and numerous other works, and co-wrote and starred in the award-winning play Circle of Will. Over the last 40 years, he has taught thousands of poets and writers (based on his books Method Writing and Advanced Method Writing), and taught poetry in over 100 Los Angeles schools. A native of New Orleans, Jack holds a BA and an MFA from Tulane University.

His latest book is Last of the Outsiders Vol:1. For more info on Jack and his books check our website

www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

Jack lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Lori.

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Imagine being instantly 8 months pregnant. In this adoption story, our guest Ben Barnz reads an excerpt from his book We: an adoption and a memoir.

He shares how he and his husband came to be parents and how the birthmother of his child made them a We.  

Ben Barnz, in addition to being a memoirist, is an independent film and television producer. He frequently collaborates with his husband, filmmaker Daniel Barnz. Together they formed We’re Not Brothers Productions, so named because everyone who doesn’t know them assumes they must be brothers. They are not.

Barnz produced CAKE, starring Jennifer Aniston which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Barnz’s next film project, I’LL DROP A HOUSE ON YOU, will start production in the fall of 2018, and is the story of Ryan Wash – a young black queer debater who revolutionized the world of debate. Barnz is producing with Plan B and Macro. Barnz is also producing LONESOME TONIGHT about the love affair between Elvis Presley and young Priscilla Beaulieu. He is also producing a one-hour television drama written by his husband and sixteen-year old daughter. The show takes a frank and uncensored look at teenage sexuality and identity, as well as a limited series for NBC .

Barnz's first book is published by Wyatt-McKenzie. WEAn Adoption and A Memoir is about the adoption of his daughter, and the legal (and emotionally fraught) battle that ensued with her birthfather - a battle that began the day after her birth and two days after 9/11. The book interweaves this story with Ben's path to parenthood - beginning with his closeted youth in 1980s New York City, a time when it was statistically more likely he would die from AIDS than become a father. 

Born and raised in New York City, Barnz attended Hampshire College. 

follow him on twitter @WEbyBenBarnz and on insta @benbarnzwe

link to his book is on our website www.ifitsnot1thingitsyourmother.com

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us.

 

Follow us on social media or on our website

Here’s a question we are curious about: Do you teach your kids how to party responsibly? Did your mom teach you? Shouldn't we talk about how to parent when it comes to teens’ drinking and drug use? We all know that "just say no" is neither an effective nor a realistic tactic.

Today’s story opens up an honest conversation about drugs, alcohol, teens and our roles as mothers.

Linda Freund shares her day of mushroom trippin' with Bonnie, her mom. And she looks back fondly on the lessons she learned.  

Linda Freund is an aspiring novelist, filmmaker and award-winning multimedia journalist based in Barcelona, Spain. She previously worked as a senior video journalist for The Wall Street Journal.  

website: www.lblakemedia.com 
twitter: @StoryFreund

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable and some you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website

 *this story was originally pubished on Medium.com

Life is a beautiful thing if you can navigate all the loss. Once your child dies you’re still their mother. In this episode our guest shares the death of her 6 year old son and her journey of navigating that loss.

Chanel Brenner shares how she listened and trusted her inner voice, “You know how to survive the loss of your child. Everyone has their own grief journey.” She reminds us to be respectful of each others grief process. Putting boundaries around grief, helped her marriage survive such loss

Chanel Brenner is the author of Vanilla Milk: a memoir told in poems, (Silver Birch Press, 2014), which was a finalist for the 2016 Independent Book Awards and honorable mention in the 2014 Eric Hoffer awards.  Her poems have appeared in New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Muzzle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Spry Literary Journal, Barrow Street, Salamander, Spoon River Poetry Review, Literary Mama, and others. Her poem, “July 28th, 2012” won first prize in The Write Place At the Write Time’s contest, judged by Ellen Bass. In 2018, she was nominated for a Best of the Net.

http://chanelbrenner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Vanilla-Milk-Memoir-Told-Poems/dp/0692267476

http://www.literarymama.com/poetry/archives/2019/03/mother-trucker.html

https://www.facebook.com/chanelbrennerauthor/

https://twitter.com/chanelb2

Grief Haven is an online community for people traveling the path of grief.  

https://griefhaven.org/

If it's not 1 Thing, explores the topic of 'mother' from every angle imaginable andsome you have not thought of. Each week, hosts Katie Mitchell and Lupe Padilla Mitchell share a new story and have great conversations with the writers, many of whom are in fact not writers by trade. We have excerpts from best selling novels, memoirs, poetry award winners, songwriters, stay at home moms, insurance brokers, teachers, actors, college students and beyond. Some famous. Some not at all. But they all have incredible tales to tell. Story is in our DNA. It's how we make sense of the world around us. We have so much to teach each other. We welcome you to rate and review us. 

Follow us on social media or on our website 

I Have Two Times the Love for One Child, by Chanel Brenner

*This poem was first published in Snapdragon, Journal of art and healing in June, 2015

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