This past Monday I gave my first public reading from Waiting to Unfold, at Knesset Israel synagogue in Pittsfield after their kosher hot lunch. I read to an avid and interested group of about 25 people, and then took questions about everything from Torah scrolls to postpartum depression. Aftewards, a pair of older ladies approached my bookselling table and told me that it had been 60 years since they had parented newborns, but that hearing my poems brought it all back. Hearing that from them was a real gift for me.
Midweek I shared a few poems at a local hospital's training about postpartum depression. (And our son came with me, which added a special spice to the evening.) That was incredibly powerful for me, too: sharing some of the poems of my postpartum journey with people who will be tasked with diagnosing and caring for women who suffer from PPD, who may be able to let them know that there is hope and that they are not alone.
And on this coming Sunday afternoon, I'll be sharing poems from the collection again:
Sunday June 9, 4pm
Poetry reading and conversation / signing / Q-and-A / plus refreshments!
Congregation Beth Israel, 53 Lois Street, North Adams
cosponsored by MotherWoman and the Berkshire County Perinatal Support Coalition
Join Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (70 faces, Phoenicia, 2011) for a reading from Waiting to Unfold (Phoenicia, 2013), her new collection of poems, written as weekly poems during her first year of motherhood. Rodger Kamenetz says, "The intense observation of the poet and the intense observation of the mother unite in a celebration of what is new and newborn, what is intensely felt and cherished and what is lost and mourned." Refreshments & book-signing to follow.
CBI is my shul, and I'm honored to be sharing my poems from the bimah there. If you haven't yet visited our beautiful sanctuary set like a gem beside wetland and mountains, and coming to services doesn't tempt you, come listen to some poems instead!
We'll also hear a few words from a MotherWoman representative, who will speak briefly about the work they do with new mothers across Berkshire County. Please join us!