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Out of the maelstrom of a daughter's heroin addiction come these gripping poems of love and powerlessness, tenacity and surrender, brokenness and resilience. In The Heroin Addict's Mother, Miriam Greenspan, eminent psychologist and author of the bestselling Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair offers an intimate memoir that serves as a poetry of witness to the opiate epidemic that is ravaging millions of families throughout the United States.
A Note From the Publisher
These unflinching poems take us deep into the psyche of a mother whose daughter has been taken over by addiction. In language that fuses art and emotion with integrity, Greenspan shows us there are no easy answers, that struggle in itself is an act of fierce love. In “The War on Drugs,” one of the participants at a gathering of parents of addicts says, “I’m not here for hope I’m here for courage.” The Heroin Addict’s Mother is infused with courage. We all need to read these poems for their remarkable artistry, their craft, their hard-earned lessons.
-Kathleen Aguero, Author of Daughter Of
Deep, dangerous, exquisite, elegant, terrifying, these poems take the ground away from under the reader just as it was taken away in the poet-mother’s life. Heartbreaking and intense, in places Shakespearean.
-Phyllis Chesler, Author of Women and Madness
In this courageously truthful collection, with lyricism both haunting and compelling, Miriam Greenspan generously shares her view from the trenches. “...from here there’s only / live or die / there is no ordinary sky.” Greenspan’s narrative unfolds under this strange sky where the landscape changes from a loving childhood home to a filthy needle-strewn apartment, to the streets, crack houses, prison, and to the inevitable repeated cycles of detox and rehab. This book is necessary and timely. The number of drug overdose deaths in the United States has exceeded 70,000 for the past several years. Yet, the epidemic of opioid addiction is greeted by woefully inadequate measures. In these poems we are with the mother who pleads, “Where do the mothers go? / To what rough god do we pray?” She cries out not just for her child, but for all our children.
-Julia Morris Paul, Poet Laureate of Manchester, Connecticut, Author of Staring Down the Tracks
These poems are beautifully powerful. As someone who has lived with the heartache of loving someone with active addiction and someone who has found recovery, as well as losing a loved one to overdose, I related to every aspect. Miriam's words capture the essence of what we who are touched by addiction live and breathe. They remind us we are not alone and that we too can recover.
-Joanne Peterson, Executive Director of Learn to Cope, Inc.
These poems are breathtaking, truly brilliant. Destined to be tremendously helpful to so many people going through similar terrifying, gut-wrenching experience and to help others understand in great depth what that world is like.
-Paula J. Caplan, Author of Don't Blame Mother: Mending the Mother-Daughter Relationship
Greenspan’s brave poems, unafraid of darkness and breathtakingly honest, capture the nuances of grief, anger, and love a mother goes through when her child falls into the river of addiction. As a mother of a son who died of a heroin overdose, I can say that these poems echo the complicated breaks in my own heart. A rich mix of sadness and despair, love and hope, there’s not a word that doesn’t ring true.
-Sheryl St. Germain, Author of The Small Door of Your Death
A genuine, gritty, and stirring collection of heartfelt poems reflecting the beauty and the beast of raw emotion emanating from the power and persistence of a mother’s undying love for her addicted child. These poems will resonate with so many out in the world suffering from addiction.
-John F. Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Founder/Director, Recovery Research Institute, Mass General Hospital
In The Heroin Addict's Mother, renowned psychologist Miriam Greenspan gifts us with intensely personal, forceful, and courageous poems that speak not only to mothers of addicted children, but to all of us who have feared and fought for our children to be safe and well.
-Harriet Lerner, Author of The Dance of Anger
Only a true poet can tell such truths with such power. We are stunned and grateful for Greenspan’s unrelenting view. Now we know what we couldn’t possibly know otherwise. Bless her gift and courage.
-Deena Metzger, Author of Ruin and Beauty
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