Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Mamaphiles

I just got my copy of The Mamaphiles in the mail and loved it. This self-described "mother of all zines" is a compilation of work by zine-making mamas (and papas). Issue #3 is themed "Coming Home" and features essays, poetry, photographs and artwork by 25 contributors (including yours truly). Writers took the theme and ran in unimaginable directions, from losing best friends, to grandmothers dying , to adult children moving on, to reclaiming some of their former selves when the kids start school, to balancing motherhood and medical school, and of course, bringing a baby home from the hospital.

These are not the stories you're going to read about in Parenting magazine. It was truly humbling to read about mamas living in squatted buildings, of mamas trying to make homes for their families out of run-down rentals that they live in fear of losing, of mamas giving up their babies for adoption, of a dad returning home with his children to visit his father who was just released from prison. Sometimes I think I'm having a bad day, or my kids are going to kill me, or it would be really nice to have more closet space. It's important to be reminded that I've got it pretty damn good.

The Mamaphiles contributors span the spectrum of motherhood, but I did not find one essay or poem that could not relate to. We all share the passion that is motherhood, and we all make our path how and where we can. The essays are all powerful in their honesty and the sort of naked truth that can be hard to find in polished, published works.

If you're new to zines in general or mama zines in particular, The Mamaphiles is a great resource because the back page lists all the contributors' bios and ordering information for their zines, so if you read something you like, you can get more.

Now go to http://www.mamaphiles.com/ and get your copy right away, and get copies for all of your mama (and papa) friends for the holidays.

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