By Sage Cohen
2008 was a banner year for my writing career. The previous year, I articulated my platform, pitched a book and landed a book deal. I spent 2008 delivering on the promise of my proposal while writing my book, Writing the Life Poetic: An Invitation to Read and Write Poetry, forthcoming from Writer’s Digest Books in March 2009.
In parallel to this gestation, another creative project quietly and joyously took root. Early in the year, my son Theo was conceived. While pregnant, sleep deprived, increasingly off balance and out of breath, my writing life momentum somehow continued! Thanks to a clearly articulated platform, a passion for my topic and my community and an unrealistic sense of what I could handle, I spent a good amount of time celebrating poetry publicly. My speaking gigs included: the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference in Seattle, Washington and the Northwest Author’s Series in Wilsonville, Oregon.
The opportunity to teach also presented itself, and who was I to say no?! I spent a weekend teaching as Writer-in-Residence at the Oregon Writer’s Colony and launched “Poetry for the People”, an email class through Writers on the Rise. I was invited to read at seven bookstores, three poetry festivals and two radio shows. I had a poem published in The Sunday Oregonian and a poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Every month, my column “Beyond What You Know” appeared in Writers on the Rise. And every month, I continued to host the reading series I established at Barnes & Noble, Lloyd Center for audiences of up to 60 people. In a final act of bleary enthusiasm, I joined the editorial collective of VoiceCatcher, an inspiring anthology featuring the work of Portland-area women writers.
The culmination of all of this “doing” was the birth of my son, Theodore Luchs-Cohen, on September 17, 2008. Since his arrival, he has been initiating me into the practice of “being” as I reconstruct my identity and lifestyle to embrace my new “writer mama” badge of honor. I spend less time at the computer now, and less time in public. As the New Year approaches, I can’t wait to discover how I will take these two tender new roles of author and mother forward!
Sage Cohen is the author of Writing the Life Poetic, and the poetry collection Like the Heart, the World. Her poetry and essays appear in journals and anthologies including Cup of Comfort for Writers, Oregon Literary Review, Greater Good and VoiceCatcher. Sage holds an MA in creative writing from New York University and teaches Poetry for the People. In September 2008, her son Theo Luchs-Cohen initiated Sage into the life of the writer mama.