Mother Stump


By Alexandra Donovan

Native Blossoms Chapbook Series Three, Book 3

Alexandra Donovan’s debut collection, Mother Stump, looks both inward and outward as a daughter processes grief and the loss of a mother. Gracefully rendered in lyrical, elegiac language that brings the reader along through the speaker’s experiences with hospitals, doctors, tubes, and treatments, the twenty-eight poems in this chapbook also detail the profound spiritual healing available to us through our contact with nature. This is a book about connections: the connectedness we all share with each other, and to the beautiful natural world in which we live.

Read A Sample Poem:

These” was originally published in 2015 by Selfish Magazine, and reprinted with permission at LA Poet Society in 2016.


Alexandra Donovan is a poet, teacher, and volunteer chaplain. She received her BA from Stanford University and her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Alexandra’s writing has appeared in Pirene’s Fountain, Selfish Magazine, Ruminate, and Presence Magazine, and is forthcoming from Gyroscope Review. This is her first chapbook.


Alexandra Donovan_Mother StumpPaperback: 44 pages
ISBN: 978-1-7324289-0-4
Product Dimensions:  8-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 1/4 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.5 oz.

“When you suffer the death of a loved one (parent, spouse, friend) there is grief, yes, but as Alexandra shows, there is intimacy in the loss: ‘see how your cry still trembles on my own tongue.’ Time and again such intricately balanced images allow us, with the speaker, to experience loss, even, as she notes later, of a Monarch Butterfly whose wing has been cut: ‘the life we shared now torn.’ Filled with luxurious images that name the world, these are poems that also create a space where one can experience something like transcendence―but in a personal, private way. It is like the handprints left on a wall in a hidden cave as she writes later in the sequence.  And it is her imagination, her gift, that allows us entry in such a private way, and produces the marvelous and healing experience of this terrific book.”

~ Richard Jackson, author of Traversings,
Retrievals, and Out of Place

“Alexandra Donovan’s collection, Mother Stump, is an elegiac journey mapped on terrains of canyon, moss, and prayer. Navigating the natural and artificial, a daughter wrestles between ‘words about love, loss, holes’ and the solemn unexpected grace of ‘your first morning / gone from me.’ These poems are sacred moments, weaving horizons of forested ‘dark cliff walls’ into ‘a beauty too vast,’ though, at times steeped in hospitals, doctors, and broken magnolia blossoms. Alexandra encourages us to listen, reminding us that, ‘the empty bowl is the one that sings.'”

Nancy Carroll, author of Night Walks

“The first-person poems in Alexandra Donovan’s Mother Stump look both inward and outward, managing to let the reader feel that what the speaker is experiencing also is part of the reader’s life: ‘you were too alive to stay, / too alive to let them fix you. / You left before I could say goodbye.’ Donovan’s work is so real and concrete, while at the same time so beautifully lyrical that it cuts to the heart. Mother Stump is a “must read” for poetry lovers, as well as anyone who just wants to reconnect with what’s beautiful in the world.”

Richard Luftig, author of Off the Map,
and A Grammar for Snow (forthcoming)

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