Baby Blues

Poetry / Katherine Anderson Howell

:: Baby Blues ::



From the writer

:: Account ::

Baby Blues” is part of a series of poems that mark the grief, fear, and change of iden­ti­ty asso­ci­at­ed with moth­er­hood and mar­riage. In these poems, images of the sea, cer­tain flow­ers, and the night sky repeat. I use images of stars, whether jas­mine or novas, as reminders that our lives are part of vast, only part­ly know­able, sys­tems. My work embraces this mys­tery as a key ele­ment, not only through explor­ing such imagery but also through a process called “tex­tu­al poach­ing,” to bor­row a term from fan­dom schol­ar Hen­ry Jenk­ins. Poach­ing is evi­dent in “Baby Blues,” which began as a found poem, as the sto­ry of Miri­am Carey con­nect­ed with my own strug­gles. How­ev­er, as I began to research brain sci­ence and med­ical jour­nal­ism, as well as have per­son­al con­ver­sa­tions with more moth­ers about their expe­ri­ences with post­par­tum depres­sion, I dis­cov­ered obscu­ri­ty around post­par­tum depres­sion and obtuse sug­ges­tions for treat­ing it. I paired the dig­i­tal media his­to­ry of twen­ty-first-cen­tu­ry post­par­tum depres­sion to pair with the sto­ry of my own dark­ness. Women from all races and social class­es have had their sto­ries silenced by this media cacoph­o­ny. The mul­ti-voiced poem was born.


Kather­ine Ander­son How­ell writes and par­ents in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. She is the edi­tor of Fan­dom as Class­room Prac­tice: A Teach­ing Guide, from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa Press. Her poems can be found in Gar­goyle Mag­a­zine, Sweet Tree Review, Juke Joint Mag, and Still­wa­ter Review, among others.