MotherWork Collage

by Sandra Faulkner


[Editor’s Note: Click on the image below to view at full size.]

Sandra_Faulkner-BirthDay-2

Sandra L. Faulkner is Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at BGSU. Her poetry and images appear in places such as Gravel, Literary Mama, and Rat’s Ass Review. She authored three chapbooks, Hello Kitty Goes to College (dancing girl press, 2012), Knit Four, Make One (Kattywompus, 2015), and Postkarten aus Deutschland (http://liminalities.net/12-1/postkarten.html). Routledge published her books Poetry as Method: Reporting Research through Verse and Inside Relationships: A Creative Casebook on Relational Communication. She published her memoir in poetry, Knit Four, Frog One (2014), and a co-authored book (with Sheila Squillante) on Writing the Personal (2016) with Sense Publishers. She lives in NW Ohio with her partner, their warrior girl, and two rescue mutts.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “MotherWork Collage”?

    My mother gave me a damp cardboard box of family photos and memorabilia a few years back. When I sorted through the yellowed photos and paper scraps, I found a baby book that she had made for me that stopped at 18 months—the time that my younger brother was born. I have no scrapbook or baby album for my own daughter; her photos stuck in unmarked files in my work hard drives, pieces of paper about growth and feeding advice from her pediatrician stuffed between the pages of my unfinished baby book. Pregnancy and infancy were utterly overwhelming, and trying on different kinds of mother suits to find one that didn’t pinch or squeeze my bisexual-feminist-contrary-self took me past my child’s toddler-hood. Good mothers in a pro-natalist culture should channel their creativity into things like making scrapbooks of their progeny. So here is my daughter’s baby book. Most of the pieces I created in Photoshop, though Feeding is a pen and sticker piece. I juxtapose images and text from my unfinished baby book and my daughter’s never begun baby book in this MotherWork scrapbook—two mothers, my mother and me, in conversation about the difficult business of never being a good enough mother.
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