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Ben Berman's Writing While Parenting explores what it means to pursue a creative passion alongside raising a family, how having children can make a parent both more vulnerable and more adventurous as an artist. Given how hectic parenting is, is it possible to balance a career and family, let alone find two minutes to pee without someone tugging your leg and asking to watch you "make bubbles"? How does one possibly find the time or energy to be creative?
Spanning five years, these essays range from humorous moments (the seven-year-old daughter complaining that she "just got kicked in the weenie") to the more serious ones (finding two swastikas etched into the slide at the neighborhood playground). No matter its genesis, each piece thoughtfully examines the overlaps and the dissonance between the creative life and the procreative one. This is a witty, inspired, and illuminating collection for the writer, the parent, or both.
Ben Berman's new book, Writing While Parenting, is a collection of humorous and literary essays that considers what it means to pursue one’s creative passions while also raising a family and explores the strange overlaps between the creative life and procreative life.
He is the author of three previous collections of poems. He has won the Peace Corps Award for Best Book of Poetry, has twice been shortlisted for the Massachusetts Book Awards, and has received awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and New England Poetry Club. He teaches in the English Department and in SWS at Brookline High School.
Moderator Whitney Scharer is the author of The Age of Light, which was a Boston Globe and IndieNext bestseller and named one of the best books of 2019 by Parade, Glamour Magazine, Real Simple, Refinery 29, Booklist and Yahoo. Internationally, The Age of Light won Le prix Rive Gauche à Paris, was a coups de couer selection from the American Library in Paris, and has been published in over a dozen other countries. Whitney has been awarded residencies at the Virginia Center for the Arts and Ragdale, and is the recipient of a 2020 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Fellowship in Fiction. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and now lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington, MA, where she is at work on her second novel.