Mom Talk: Bringing Motherhood Out of the Private into the Public with Alessandra Simmons

Bringing Motherhood Out of the Private into the Public with Alessandra Simmons PIN

Bringing Motherhood Out of the Private into the Public with Alessandra Simmons

Dr. Alessandra Simmons is the executive director of Gathering Ground, a non profit dedicated to connecting people to the environment and their food through work and play. She’s a mom, poet and veggie and flower farmer, too!

Her poems have been published in Spillway, Smartish Pace, Rabbit Catastrophe, Rewilding: poems for the environment and elsewhere.

She lives and farms with her husband and son on Washington Island, WI and holds a PhD from UW-Milwaukee in English and a MFA from Indiana University.

The Unspoken Topic

  • Motherhood is not a private thing. It is powerful when you can bring together all the parts of yourself to the conversation and table, including motherhood.

What We Cover

  • Life on a farm.
  • How to incorporate all aspects of your life into what you do.
  • Beautiful poems written by Alessandra.

Take a Listen >>


Alessandra’s Poems

 New Mother Poem [Oak]

I wish I were on oak tree

and you were an acorn-

then there would be thousands 

of you and each one would fall

perfectly and I wouldn’t worry about where 

you sleep. Chances are 

one of you would catch 

the good earth

with your rooting.


New Mother Poem [Honey Locust]

If I were a honey locust
you’d be my seed pod

your little round body
bound by sweet pulp

and leather skin. When student
protesters are struck

by trucks and flares 
of the national guard

their blood will wet 
the sidewalks, their young

hands will not sculpt 
or write or clap. But

you, my little legume, when
your pod is crushed 

in the street and power
hoses wash away litter

and crowds, you will float along
until you bloat with water

and sun until you find a crevice
or a spot of trampled earth

and you will sprout and hold
your compound leaves in the air.





Greatest A-Ha Moment

  • She didn’t think her motherhood experience had anything to do with her poetry dissertation. When she found the overlap between environmentalism and feminism, between nature and motherhood, she really found her path for her dissertation and that was very meaninful to her.





How She Stays Connected To Her Husband

  • They connect the hour before bed together and always make time for family activities on weekends, even when they are busy with work.





Most Excited About

  • How her nonprofit is growing




Mama Has a Minute 

  • Favorite form of self-care: Shower.
  • Best parenting advice ever received: Say ‘boop’ when wiping their nose.
  • Parenting Hack: Asking the child to do small tasks to redirect.
  • Product Child cannot live without:  Books.
  • Share 1 book:  Fertile Ground, a Pilgrimage through Pregnancy.
  • What motherhood means to you: Motherhood means love and learning.

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