I'm Jessica Bates, a writer, reader, and mother who was born and raised in Tennessee. I like growing herbs, taking scalding hot baths, eating dark chocolate, and dancing. I get most of my writing done while children crawl over me. It's interesting. It's hard!
I've been writing my whole life, thanks to my family who always read to me. I'm having fun teaching my children the same love for words and stories.
My first book flowed from me after my first child was born. I self published it in 2017. Now I'm finalizing my second collection and searching for the right agent and publisher to bring my next baby into the world.
Praise for Birth & What Came After
"This book is POWERFUL. This book will MOVE YOU. Jessica Bates is one of our generation's most promising poets - every poem in this debut book 'Birth & What Came After' will cement her capacity in your consciousness.
A must-read for any person who is, will be, or has a mother."
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How to Do Things & Be a Mother
You may no longer finish a task
in one sitting.
Scatter half-finished things
across your life
like ripped pieces of paper —
trust that somehow
they will find themselves
whole and complete
in shorter cycles.
Learn to breathe
in longer ones.
You are so small
and there are so many ways
you could die.
I dreamed I dropped you
from the top of a steep staircase.
I watched your body bounce down.
My hand on your head is like
palming a fuzzy peach.
I could crush you.
Zipping up your sleep sack
reminds me so much of
a body bag.
— Jessica Bates
from Birth & What Came After