Jordemoder: Poems of a Midwife  
by Ingrid Andersson 
Poems 51 ~ Pages 84 
Publisher: Holy Cow Press 
Price: 16.95
ISBN: 978-1737405115
To Order: Amazon


"Jordemoder" is a Swedish and Danish word for midwife that translates to "earth/land/world mother." The word reflects Ms. Andersson's ecological practice of midwifery as well as her   background as a Chicago-born Swedish farmer's daughter. The poems are born from 20+ years as a home birth activist nurse midwife.


"Ingrid Andersson's poems are well crafted and passionate at once. They are rooted in her family, her work as a midwife birthing babies in a natural age-old way, her own motherhood and her travels. Her work reveals an identification with and close observation of birds, mammals including herself and her clients, flowers, trees, the seasons. These poems offer both insight and joy."
—Marge Piercy, author of On the Way Out Turn Off the Light: Poems (Knopf, 2020).

'' 'Cardamom buns baked on parchment,/percolated coffee in thin-lipped cups,/a porcelain pitcher of cream.' In this heartfelt debut collection, Ingrid Andersson's lush observations often made me feel that I had walked into a Vermeer painting, with all the attendant beauty and restraint that implies. Her viewpoint is fresh and modest, her basic stance that of a midwife in the literal and metaphoric sense. The tenderest poems are reserved for the poetâs mother, beginning with a depiction of her in hard labor 'pinned like an insect/on her back, leather straps/around her ankles, wrists.' Because Andersson writes without a hint of sentimentality, we believe such humbly offered insights as this one: 'Love after fifty is like love before//the age of five, unable to contain itself.' Time and again, these poems transform the most ordinary objects and events 'into something noble and whole.' ''
—Enid Shomer, author most recently of SHORELESS: Poems (Persea Books, 2020).

"In these generous and musical poems, Ingrid Andersson is midwife to the lives of the young of this century, compassionate observer of the joys and sorrows of her family's and country's troubles, a wise-woman companion on old-world tour, literate in our history of failure to address our earth's problems. In her celebration of the earth's fecundity, she births the hope that we could be better, start anew."
—Robin Chapman, author of The Only Home We Know (Tebot Bach, 2019).

"These are poems that celebrate life, that give a luminous, shimmering attention to what it means to birth, to mother, to age, and through it all to notice the white-tailed bumblebee."
—Juliana Spahr, author of That Winter the Wolf Came: Poems (Commune Editions, 2015).  


Ingrid Andersson has practiced as a home-birth nurse midwife for more than 20 years. She studied poetry and literature in Swedish, German, French and English, as well as anthropology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, before mixing that fertile ground with the art and science of midwifery. Ingrids poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net and has appeared in Ars Medica, Eastern Iowa Review (Editor's Choice Award), Midwest Review, Minerva Rising, Mom Egg Review, Plant-Human Quarterly and elsewhere. She works as a writer, midwife and an activist in Madison, Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband, son, dogs, chickens and bees. 


In the Botanical Gardens
by Ingrid Anderson

A sun-drenched bed
of snowdrops and winter aconite,

white-tailed bumblebees, even pigeons
beckon to me, strutting iridescent breasts

and looking me sideways in the eye.
Spring's first polished motorcycle rumbles by

but can't compete with a wren's tremble-chatter
or this ancient magnolia, pink galleon
acrest a sea of yellow-white.
I linger amidst her silver limbs.

A woman who reminds me of someone
sails by, a weathered book in her weathered

hands, in her smiling eyes: mine.
Love after fifty is like love before

the age of five, unable to contain itself.
Now, I'm the unconditional bench;

now, the magnificent tree; now
the whispering sweet air, and petals

like kisses rain through me.


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