The Shape I Take, by Deidre Braley-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

The Shape I Take, by Deidre Braley

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Deidre Braley
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Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

There are few moments in a person's life that are more emotionally dynamic, physically dramatic, or spiritually charged than those days surrounding the birth of a baby. In The Shape I Take, Braley documents those moments in real-time. This collection begins in the dwindling days before the birth of her child, is swept up into the height of labor and delivery, and finishes with the acute poignancy that is unique to those first postpartum weeks.

From predictions for ominous weather and late-night loving to the tension between new life and certain death, the poems in The Shape I Take are not your typical reflections on motherhood. Rather, they seek to capture the realities of the anticipation, desperation, and trepidation that come along with bringing a baby into the world: milk-drenched sheets and all.

"Deidre Braley’s voice is that of a gentle, feminine sage. She so beautifully captures the most universal human experiences as ones of intimacy and holiness. Reading Deidre’s work is like sitting down with a best friend who will tell you all the secrets you are dying to know about life. The Shape I Take, Deidre’s debut chapbook, does just this for her readers. It offers a divine exhale in a busy world that demands we hold our breath."

—Kimberly Phinney, English professor, author of Of Wings & Dirt, and founder of

“In The Shape I Take Deidre Braley has taken us into the soft luminous corners of motherhood, showing us with unflinching authenticity the vulnerability, anxieties, sacrifices, sacredness, and unrestrained love of parenthood. These poems allow us to witness love in its kaleidoscope of hues—romantic, parental, and divine.”

—Nicholas Trandahl, Poet

Deidre Braley is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Maine with her husband and three children, and most days can be found savoring an overly cheesy bagel or drinking a second cup of coffee while working on her weekly column, The Second Cup. Her award-winning poetry has been featured in The Way Back To Ourselves literary journal and Maine Women Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Aletheia Today, The Joyful Life, and The Truly Co., where she serves as the editorial content director. Deidre is a strong believer in the power of poetry, picking roadside flowers, and skipping the small talk. You can find her on Insta @deidressecondcup.