We Welcome Anne-Marie Oomen in support of her new book As Long as I Know You: The Mom Book. She's joined by guest readers Cindy Hunter Morgan, Ellen Stone, & Keith Taylor.
Writer Pam Houston once summed it up: "Nice mother-daughter stories are a dime a dozen; pain-in-the-ass mother-daughter stories are the ones that grab us." As Long as I Know You is a compelling read for any adult grappling with a living elder who might also be a pain in the ass, particularly, any reader who wants a tender take on the lethal combination of dementia and defiance.
As Long as I Know You narrates Anne-Marie Oomen's journey to finally knowing her mother as well as the heartbreaking loss of her mother's immense capacities. It explores how humor and compassion grow belatedly between a mother and daughter who don't much like each other. It's a personal map to find a mother who may have been there all along, then losing her again in the time of Covid. As the millions of women like Oomen's mother reach their elder years and become the "oldest of the old," their millions of daughters (and sometimes sons) must come on board, involved in care they may welcome the way they'd welcome hitting a pothole the size of a semi. How a family makes decisions about that pothole, how care continues or does not, how possessions are addressed--really, no one wants the crockpot--and how the relationship shifts and evolves (or not), that story is universal.
Anne-Marie Oomen is the author of The Lake Michigan Mermaid (coauthored with Linda Nemec Foster), Pulling Down the Barn, House of Fields, An American Map: Essays, Uncoded Woman, and Love, Sex, and 4-H. She has written seven plays, including the award-winning The Secrets of Luuce Talk Tavern. She is a poetry and nonfiction instructor at Solstice MFA at Lasell University and Interlochen College of Creative Arts. She and her husband, David Early, live in their handmade house near Traverse City, Michigan. Visit her at www.anne-marieoomen.com.
Cindy Hunter Morgan is the author of Harborless (Wayne State University Press, 2017) and two chapbooks: Apple Season and The Sultan, The Skater, The Bicycle Maker. Harborless was a 2018 Michigan Notable Book and the winner of the 2017 Moveen Prize in Poetry.
Ellen Stone advises a poetry club at Community High School and co-hosts a monthly poetry series, Skazat! in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ellen’s poems have appeared recently in Anti-Heroin Chic, Great Lakes Review, Rust + Moth and River Mouth Review among other places. She is the author of What Is in the Blood (Mayapple Press, 2020) and The Solid Living World (Michigan Writers’ Cooperative Press, 2013). Ellen’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart prize and Best of the Net.
Keith Taylor is originally from Western Canada, but has lived for the past 45 years in Michigan. He has authored or edited 17 poetry books and chapbooks. His most recent is Let Them Be Left. His last full length collection, The Bird-while (Wayne State University Press, 2017), won the Bronze medal for the Foreword/Indies Poetry Book of the Year. His poems, stories, reviews, essays and translations have appeared widely in North America and in Europe. He has recently retired from the University of Michigan, where he taught Creative Writing for 20 years.