Mama’s Writing is Raising Mother’s monthly interview series, curated by Deesha Philyaw.
Julia Mallory is a poet, children’s book author and founder of the creative literary arts brand, Black Mermaids. Her latest book, Survivor’s Guilt, takes an unflinching look at grief. She is the mother of three children: Julian (deceased), Jaya, and Kareem. She lives in Central Pennsylvania. Her work can be found at www.blackmermaids.com.
Raising Mothers: Are there days when you feel like a mother who writes, and others when you feel like a writer who is a mother?
Julia Mallory: Not really – my new normal often feels like one huge blurred line. I’ve been a mother longer than I have considered myself a writer so it is hard for me to distinguish between the two. My shifting role as a mother has afforded me more space to write, my shifting role as a writer has afforded me more courage to mother
Raising Mothers: How has parenting influenced your writing?
Mallory: 2020 marks my 20th mothering anniversary. While I have always considered myself a poet, I didn’t truly consider myself a writer until my first collection of poetry was published in November 2016, and I wrote a children’s book as follow up. When my teenage daughter read the draft for my first children’s book, she said, “It’s good, like a real writer wrote it.” I have been considering myself a real writer ever since.
Raising Mothers: How has writing influenced your parenting?
Mallory: Writing makes me think more about the legacy that I am leaving behind – what will my words mean in the future to my children and others. Will my children think my mothering lives up to my legacy as a writer?
Raising Mothers: Who are your writer-mama heroes?
Mallory: Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Faith Ringgold
Raising Mothers: What three words describe you as a mother?
Mallory: Supportive, serious, funny
Raising Mothers: What three words describe you as a writer?
Mallory: Bold, unflinching, compassionate
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