Beth Ann Fennelly was a fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 2003, as was her husband, fiction writer Tom Franklin. They brought along their daughter Claire, then two. She has since given birth to a son, Thomas. Her work is dazzling. In person, she was friendly, accessible, and charming. Just as holdng Claire in 2003 (the start of my daughter’s senior year in high school) made me long for my tiny baby, so did reading this poem this morning make me long for those beautiful days when I was a nursing mother:
It Was a Strange Country
Where I lived with my daughter while I fed her
from my body. It was a small country, and island for two . . .
— Beth Ann Fennelly from “Latching On, Falling Off”
four poems about nursing her infant daughter
in her collection Tender Hooks