“Birth of a Daughter” by Samantha Kolber is available now
MONTPELIER — Samantha Kolber is an award-winning poet who edits the poetry series at Rootstock Publishing. She lives in Montpelier, where she also coordinates events and marketing for Bear Pond Books, and is the mother to an 18-year-old son and four-year-old daughter. “Birth of a Daughter,” a poetry chapbook [small book] published by independent publisher Kelsay Books in Utah, is Kolber’s debut.
“‘Birth of a Daughter’ is an honest and vivid portrait of new motherhood. It is a chapbook about intimacy and love, both for the child and for the self. ‘There is a world at my fingertips. / Or, I am the world — fingertipped’ Kolber writes in her poem ‘A(u)reola.’ These poems are a beautiful witness to that common, yet utterly profound occurrence of birth,” says Bianca Stone, author of “The Mobius Strip Club of Grief” and “A Little Called Pauline.”
“In ‘Birth of a Daughter,’ Samantha Kolber deftly reveals the private world of pregnancy and birth — the middle of the night and light of day worries about safety, connection, and intimacy, weighing what shifts, writing, ‘I am marked. I am one becoming two, becoming one / again…my body deceives me.’ Indeed, these poems are brave in their accounting of the pregnant, birthing body and the realities of mothering, the territory we enter — ‘oh, these worlds we are now / you and I.’ Dailiness and milestones merge here, bringing us on a journey that is part emotional travelogue, part wonder, part weighing of generations and of our times, and part arrival at the precise awareness that, ‘I am witness. I am mother.’ Kolber’s voice is an important one, honoring what is often kept hidden,” says Kerrin McCadden, author of “Keep This to Yourself.”
“Birth of a Daughter” is available for purchase at Bear Pond Books and wherever books are sold (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop) and the publisher’s website, www.kelsaybooks.com.
A virtual book launch reading co-sponsored by Bear Pond Books and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library is scheduled for October 9th.
Birth of a Daughter
I birth myself anew
as I birth you, daughter.
I am me plus and minus the cells expunged
to create you, daughter.
You arrive, doll-sized, bright-eyed, a sponge
soaking up my milk—
more cells I shed to make you, feed you,
daughter. Am I the mushroom—
the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body
of a fungus, or are you? Or do we
form one as a verb? Do we mushroom
into this life, together, daughter?
I write this as you are away; we call it school,
though it is June and you are three.
I work, I write, I sit outside
in the sun, and I can’t lie: it’s delicious,
this time away from you;
it’s precious, as are you.
It has only taken me 42 years to realize
I am precious, too.
From chapbook Birth of a Daughter by Samantha Kolber, Kelsay Books, 2020, printed with permission of the author (samanthakolber.com).
Release Date: September 1, 2020 / 42 pages / 6×9 / ISBN: 9781952326363 / $16.00 / Poetry / Distributed by Ingram and Kelsay Books
About Samantha Kolber
Samantha Kolber has received a Ruth Stone Poetry Prize and a Vermont Poetry Society prize. She has published in many journals and anthologies, including “Hunger Mountain, Poems2Go,” “Mom Egg Review,” and PoemCity. She received her MFA from Goddard College and completed post-graduate work at Pine Manor College’s Solstice MFA Program. She lives in Montpelier, where she coordinates events and marketing for Bear Pond Books and is the Poetry Series Editor for Rootstock Publishing. She volunteers with PoemCity, a program of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. “Birth of a Daughter” (Kelsay Books, 9/1/20) is Kolber’s first book. Read and listen to her poems at her website, samanthakolber.com.