The Unborn Poems
Happiness Threads: The Unborn Poems, Melanie Dennis Unrau’s debut collection, is an elegantly spare, thoughtful, and fiercely tenacious meditation on the trials and tribulations of modern motherhood. Written in response to the platitude “Your children are your poetry now,” Happiness Threads explores the struggle of a young mother to balance the demands of raising young children with her desire to make art. Unrau wastes neither words nor sentiment; often brief and wonderfully compact, these poems shy away from nothing—delving into every challenge from the onslaught of dirty diapers and spit-up to the despair in the aftermath of a stillbirth.
Determined, precise, and with a good measure of humour, this new work illuminates many of the concerns of young mothers, including conception, miscarriage, birth, breastfeeding, day care, and playground politics. Happiness Threads is set in five parts. The title section, written in the abbreviated language of an online natural mothering forum, exposes the limits of internet support systems—and the pressures, anxieties, oppressions, and victories of a post-attachment parent.
Melanie Dennis Unrau is Editor and co-Publisher of Geez magazine. Once a writer of long posts late at night, she now prefers to make art with a group of visual artist mothers who meet in person in Winnipeg. Her writing has appeared in magazines and art shows, and in Exposed, an anthology of emerging Manitoba writers (The Muses’ Company, 2002). This is her first collection.
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