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"I wanted to write the poems I'd needed to read": the transformative experience of birth in Liz Berry's The Republic of Motherhood

Abstract : In an interview she gave about her collection of poems, *The Republic of Motherhood*, Liz Berry explains that when she became a mother, she was overwhelmed by the intensity of her experience, and as she turned to poetry in order to make sense of her conflicting emotions, she realised she came out empty-handed. This realisation is a common trope for contemporary authors of autobiographical accounts of motherhood, such as Rachel Cusk, or Marie Darrieussecq: even though motherhood has been written about, the writers who become mothers often feel that they need to give a literary representation of their experience in order to leave a trace for other women to find. This is especially true of Liz Berry who also mentions in the interview that she found relief and solace from the community of other mothers: with *The Republic of Motherhood* she tries to open the literary I of poetry to the voices of all the mothers around her in order to sublimate their day-to-day strivings. The experience of motherhood and the birth of her first son are described as a deeply tranformative, ambiguous and mystical experience, the shedding of her old self and the emergence of another.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03592481
Contributor : Alice Braun Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 1, 2022 - 12:42:18 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 3, 2022 - 3:24:03 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03592481, version 1

Citation

Alice Braun. "I wanted to write the poems I'd needed to read": the transformative experience of birth in Liz Berry's The Republic of Motherhood. Congrès de la SAES, Jun 2021, Tours, France. ⟨hal-03592481⟩

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