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Five local contributors and Ann Imig, the editor from Putnam's, present 'Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now'

Listen to Your Mother is a fantastic awakening of why our mothers are important, taking readers on a journey through motherhood in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor. Based on the sensational national performance movement, Listen to Your Mother showcases the experiences of ordinary people of all racial, gender, and age backgrounds, from every corner of the country. This collection of essays celebrates and validates what it means to be a mother today, with honesty and candor that is arrestingly stimulating and refreshing. The stories are raw, honest, poignant, and sometimes raunchy, ranging from adoption, assimilation to emptying nests; first-time motherhood, foster-parenting, to infertility; single-parenting, LGBTQ parenting, to special-needs parenting; step-mothering; never mothering, to surrogacy; and mothering through illness to mothering through unsolicited advice. Honest, funny, and heart-wrenching, these personal stories are the collective voice of mothers among us. Whether you are one, have one, or know one, Listen to Your Mother is an emotional whirlwind 


Jennifer Ball is a mother, a writer, and a dog person who lives in Minneapolis. Her award-winning essays about divorce, parenting, and her inappropriate crush on Louis C.K. have appeared on numerous popular websites, and of course on her blog, The Happy Hausfrau. Her work has appeared in Family Circle and made the buzz on The Today Show and other morning talk shows. Being a part of Listen to Your Mother was a life-changing experience and one she will cherish, always.

Haddayr Copley-Woods is a radio commentator, essayist and fantasy writer with pieces in places such as Minnesota Public Radio, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Best American Erotica. She writes dark fantasy and horror, as well as commentaries on disability issues, community, and politics. Her advice column, Bitter Butch, runs weekly at

Mary Jo Pehl is the author of the book Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals and has contributed to Minnesota Monthly, NPR, Austin Monthly, and She is a former writer and actor on the cult television show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Vikki Reich writes about the intersection of contemporary lesbian life and parenthood at her personal blog Up Popped a Fox and publishes VillageQ, a site that gives voice to the experience of LGBTQ parents. She is the codirector and coproducer of Listen to Your Mother Twin Cities and was a 2013 recipient of the Beyond the Pure Fellowship for writers. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner and two kids, who provide the sound track of her life, which involves more beatboxing and improvised pop songs than she ever could have imagined.

Kate St. Vincent Vogl teaches at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. National ABC news featured her book, Lost and Found: A Memoir of Mothers. She writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her latest work appears in Bellingham Review. Vogl graduated cum laude from Cornell University and from the University of Michigan Law School.

“This collection serves as a significant contribution to literature on and about motherhood.” —Library Journal


“The stories in the collection run the gamut... Some will leave readers laughing out loud, while others will leave them crying. All of this collection’s stories, however, have one thing in common: readers will be left planning to call their mothers.” —Publishers Weekly


“The essays pack a strong emotional punch—and they're almost certain to leave any mother feeling less alone.” —Kirkus Reviews

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