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Bring Down the Little Birds: On Mothering, Art, Work, and Everything Else

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  60 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
How does a contemporary woman with a career as a poet, professor, and editor experience motherhood with one small child, another soon to be born, and her own mother suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor and Alzheimer’s? The dichotomy between life as a mother and life as an artist and professional is a major theme in modern literature because often the two seem irreconcilab ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published October 15th 2010 by University of Arizona Press (first published October 1st 2010)
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Literary Mama
Apr 15, 2012 Literary Mama added it
Shelves: memoir
An award-winning author of three poetry collections -- Goodbye, Flicker; The City She Was; and Odalisque in Pieces -- Giménez Smith brings poetic impulse to every syllable of her latest work. At once memoir, book-length essay, and epic poem (motherhood as heroic quest), Bring Down the Little Birds gathers, weaves, and illuminates the multi-faceted complexities of motherhood. I am tempted to label it a "literary nest" spun from fragments of experience, memory, reflection, imagination, pop culture ...more
Jan 19, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Highly recommended. If you are a fan of brilliant, moving, daring writing, you will love this memoir. If you are a mother, you will feel redeemed and deeply understood. If you are not, you will feel awed, and possibly you won't even sneer anymore at the parents who lose it in the grocery store.
Gabriel Oak
Nov 06, 2015 Gabriel Oak rated it really liked it
Wonderful, provocative memoir about mothering and writing, and mothering as writing. CGS is also a dynamite poet.
Niki Sorensen
Oct 11, 2010 Niki Sorensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Ms. Giminez Smith touches on issues concerning women's writing, and the conditions in which women have to endure in order to write. Virginia Woolf once said that she had the luxury to have enough time and money to write as she wished, and credited that to her success.

For Carmen Gimenez Smith, she has to juggle a toddler, a pregnancy, her job, and a mother who is having health issues. How does one find a way to express one's self when being pulled in so many directions? This is what she writes a
Rachel McCready-Flora
Mar 07, 2013 Rachel McCready-Flora rated it it was amazing
I actually read this little gem of a book twice(!). Carmen Gimenez Smith is a poet, mother of two, and an assistant professor at New Mexico State University in the English Department. Bring Down the Little Birds is her memoir that simultaneously works through trying to balance a family through her second pregnancy, her teaching, and her writing, while coming to terms with the fact of her own mother's cancer and failing memory.

She is really a beautiful and profound writer, and quite funny at time
I received Bring Down the Little Birds for free through Goodreads First Reads program.

I was excited about this book, as it was self-described as being "On Mothering, Art, Work, and Everything Else." With a subtitle like that, I felt sure I would find in it the voice of a kindred spirit. Being an artist, career-woman, and a new mother, I was eager to experience what I thought would be a warm, prosaic piece on the topic, full of nostalgia and feel-good moments.

What I found was quite the opposite.
Dec 28, 2013 Lauren added it
I just finished “Bring Down the Little Birds,” a memoir on motherhood and working and living and loving.

It read like poetry: full of life, experience, truth.

It made me think of my experience with my own mother. Of my mother’s experience with her mother. A series of mothers who were never really there for their daughters. Ghost-mothers.

I hope to break this chain should I one day be a mother myself.

This book made me scared for the future, and hopeful, but what I love most is that I connected with
Jessica Otero
Feb 24, 2015 Jessica Otero rated it liked it
Very intimate and honest and beautiful.
Feb 27, 2011 Laurel rated it it was amazing
A strange and wonderful hybrid book of memories and meditations on parenting, daughtering, writering, wifing, etc.
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Formerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa, Carmen Gimenez Smith is now an assistant professor of creative writing at New Mexico State University, the publisher of Noemi Press, and the editor-in-chief of PUERTO DEL SOL. Her work has most recently appeared in MANDORLA, COLORADO REVIEW and PLOUGHSHARES and is forthcoming in jubilat and DENVER QUARTERLY. She is the author of ODALISQ ...more
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