MILK Podcast: The Loss Season, Episode 7: The Magic of The Moth, Storytelling about Life and Death, and an Office Filled with Moms with Artistic Director Catherine Burns

Catherine Burns is in the MILK Studio with Mallory. As The Moth's longtime Artistic Director, Catherine is a producer and frequent host of their Peabody Award ­winning "The Moth Radio Hour," and the editor of "Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible" (Crown Archetype); The Moth: 50 True Stories (Hachette) and All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown. Catherine has directed theater, produced television and independent films, interviewing such diverse talent as Ozzy Osbourne, Martha Stewart and Howard Stern. Born and raised in Alabama, she now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and young son.

Photo credit: Aly Nicklaus

Photo credit: Aly Nicklaus

A semi­-accomplished fire performer (!!!) she also directed the New York City portion of the Burning Man Festival's Fire Conclave for three years, coordinating a 70­-person fire show performed in front of 50,000 people. Catherine and Mallory talk about the magic of live storytelling, how to hold space for our loved ones through narrative, and how her job listening to stories is a gift.

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Catherine shared some memorable stories about loss from The Moth:

The House of Mourning, by Kate Braestrup

Love and Loss on Valentine's Day, by Autumn Spencer

Forgiveness, by Hector Black

Inside Jokes, by Ophira Eisenberg

Stumbling in the Dark, by John Turturro

A Kind of Wisdom and Lost, by Ellie Lee

MILK Podcast The Loss Season Episode 6 Losing Patience, All That Rage, and The Myth of Equal Partnership at Home with Clinical Psychologist Darcy Lockman

Darcy Lockman joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Darcy is the author of "All The Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and The Myth of Equal Partnership," and  is a clinical psychologist practicing in New York City. 

"All The Rage" takes a close look at why in this modern era, full-time employed mothers continue to bear 65 percent of the childcare labor. 

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Mallory and Darcy talk about how anger and resentment led Darcy to action. Using her marriage as a case-study, she chronicles the experiences of a cross-section of women raising children with men — visiting new mothers’ groups and pioneering co-parenting specialists; and interviewing experts across academic fields, from gender studies professors and anthropologists to neuroscientists and primatologists. She identifies three tenets that have upheld the cultural gender division of labor and peels back the ways in which both men and women unintentionally perpetuate old norms. If we can all agree that equal pay for equal work should be a given, can the same apply to unpaid work? Can justice finally come home? 

Darcy Lockman is a clinical psychologist practicing in New York City. Her first book, "Brooklyn Zoo," chronicled the year she spent working on a city hospital psychiatric ward. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and many others. She lives with her husband and daughters in New York. Find her at darcylockman.com 

MILK Podcast: The Loss Season Episode 3: Motherhood, Marriage and Loss of Self with Clinical Psychologist and Author Molly Millwood, PhD

Clinical Psychologist Molly Millwood joins Mallory in the MILK Studio to discuss her new book "To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage and the Modern Dilemma."

When Molly first became a mother, she was fully prepared for what she would gain: an adorable baby, hard won mothering skills, and a chaotic, beautiful life. But what she was not prepared for – and what she did not expect – was what she would lose: aspects of her identity, a baseline level of happiness, a general sense of well-being.  And though she had the benefit of a supportive partner during this transition, she also envied and at times resented the fact that the disruption to his life seemed to pale in comparison.  

Photo by Kathryn West

Photo by Kathryn West

As a clinical psychologist, Molly knew her experience was a normal response to a life-changing event. But without the benefit of such a perspective, many of the patients she treated in her private practice grappled with guilt, self doubt, and fear, and suffered the dual pain of not only the struggle to adjust but also the overwhelming shame for struggling at all.

In her book, “To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma,” Molly surveys the complex terrain of new motherhood, exploring the ways it affects women psychologically, emotionally, physically and professionally, as well as how it impacts their partnerships.

Dr. Molly Millwood holds a Ph.D in clinical psychology with advanced specialized training in marital therapy and intimate relationships. Molly is a licensed psychologist in private practice, where she is particularly known for her work with couples and with women navigating the transition to parenthood. She lives in Vermont with her husband and two children.  Find her at www.mollymillwood.com

MILK Podcast: The Loss Season Episode 2: How to Get and Keep Your Shit Together When Life Goes Sideways with Author Chanel Reynolds

Chanel Reynolds joins Mallory in The MILK Studio to talk about a personal tragedy, and what came afterwards for her family. In July of 2009, Chanel got the call we all fear: her young, athletic husband Jose had been struck by a van while cycling. One week later, she removed him from medical support and drove home to tell their five-year old son. In the wake of his sudden death, Chanel realized that she was completely unprepared for what came next: financially, emotionally and practically. She totally did not have her shit together. 

Andy Roberts/Getty Images

Andy Roberts/Getty Images

Through her grief, Chanel realized how many other people, just like her, also didn’t have their shit together, in terms of wills, passwords, creating emergency funds, and knowing loved ones’ plans and desires for when they died. 

So she launched a site, based on her experiences, called, what else? "Get Your Shit Together,” which exploded, and begat a book filled with super practical advice and BFF tough love. 

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“What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s What-Ifs,” is important and perfectly voiced – a missive that will motivate parents and non-parents alike to prepare for life’s curveballs. Chanel and Mallory talk a lot about parenting young children through this kind of tragedy, how to lean on friends, and how to slowly work your way through grief. Chanel lives in Seattle with her kids, and speaks regularly at events and conferences nationwide about parenting, estate planning, grief, loss, and shit like that.

Follow her at chanelreynolds.com.

MILK Podcast: The Loss Season Episode 1: Loss, Sex, Disability and Resilience with Author Emily Rapp Black

Writer Emily Rapp Black joins Mallory in The MILK Podcast Studio, to talk about the loss of her son Ronan, how her childhood was shaped by physical trauma and disability, and about the concept of resilience. Emily is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir and The Still Point of the Turning WorldHer writing has appeared in Vogue, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, O the Oprah Magazine, Brain.Child, the Wall Street Journal and others.

Photo credit: Catherine Davis

Photo credit: Catherine Davis

She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California-Riverside, where she teaches creative nonfiction and medical narratives. Emily is actively engaged in conversations surrounding disability, medical narratives, pediatric palliative care, inequities in health care delivery, and the literature of embodiment, trauma, and recovery.

Emily’s book, Sanctuary is a reexamination of the word resilience, is forthcoming from Random House in 2020 and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Cartography for Cripples, which examines the intersection of art, disability, and sex through the life and work of Frida Kahlo, is also coming in 2020.

Emily lives in Southern California with her daughter and husband. Check her out at www.emilyrappblack.com

Episode 44: Aerial Dance, Writing Your Feelings and Not Safe For Mom Group (NSFMG) with Writer Alexis Barad-Cutler

Alexis Barad-Cutler joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Alexis is a writer and the founder of Not Safe For Mom Group, a digital space and community for mothers to tell their stories and express unfiltered feelings without judgement.

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Through #NSFMG Alexis has opened a frank, vulnerable dialogue that moms have been craving. Alexis also creates content for sites like Mindr, Fatherly, Beyond Mom, Hey Mama, and Well Rounded — among other outlets that cater to the parenting set.

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, and their two young boys — who not only provide endless material for her writing, but also inspire her undying affection for dirty martinis. Find her @notsafeformomgroup on Instagram.

Episode 39: What Would Virginia Woolf Do about Aging and Raging Gracefully with Author Nina Lorez Collins

Author Nina Lorez Collins joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Nina is the author of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do: And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology." In her forties, Nina found herself awash in a sea of hormones. As symptoms of perimenopause set in, she began to fear losing her health, looks, sexuality and sense of humor all at once. Craving a place to discuss her questions and concerns, and finding none, Nina started a Facebook Group with the ironic title “What Would Virginia Woolf Do?” and that forum has grown exponentially into a place where women – with strong opinions and humor – share their private selves with bravery and most of all, with truth. WWVWD has morphed into an on and offline community, and into Nina’s funny and informative book. 

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Nina is a lifelong New Yorker, graduate of Barnard College, and holds a masters degree from Columbia University in the field of Narrative Medicine. She enjoyed a long professional career in book publishing, both as a literary scout and then as an agent. She has four nearly grown children and lives in Brooklyn, where she is a trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library. Check out her website, with information about the book, the group, and a new podcast, at www.TheWoolfer.com

Episode 36: Like A Mother: Feminism, Science and the Culture of Pregnancy With Journalist Angela Garbes

Journalist Angela Garbes joins Mallory in the MILK Studio. Angela is a Seattle based writer specializing in food, bodies, women’s health, and issues of racial equity and diversity, and is the author of “Like  A Mother: A Feminist Journey through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy.”

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As a new mom food writer at Seattle's alt-weekly, The Stranger, Angela wrote a piece called “The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am.” The story became the publication’s most read piece in its twenty-four year history, and the inspiration for “Like A Mother.” Angela is an experienced public speaker, frequent radio and podcast guest, and event moderator.  She grew up in a food obsessed immigrant Filipino household and now lives in Seattle with her husband and daughters. Find her on twitter @agarbes

Episode 26: Modern Loss IRL, Pastel Platitudes on Pillows, and The Richness of Living with Author Rebecca Soffer

Rebecca Soffer joins Mallory in the MILK Studio to talk about her book, “Modern Loss: Candid conversations about grief. Beginners welcome.” Rebecca is the CEO of the website Modern Loss, which she founded with co-author Gabrielle Birkner. A former producer for the “The Colbert Report,” Rebecca is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of loss and resilience, and contributes regularly to books, magazines and other media.

Rebecca Soffer; Photo by Elaina Mortali

Rebecca Soffer; Photo by Elaina Mortali

Blurbed by everyone from Mindy Kaling to Stephen Colbert to Anna Sale, “Modern Loss” is practical, surprising, and filled with the darkly humorous and tender details of death's inevitability. Rebecca talks about her own messy story of loss, and how she lives her life as a mom, wife, and journalist with as much richness as possible. Check out modernloss.com.

Episode 24: How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids, Marriage Under a Microscope, and Cyndi Lauper’s Vintage Kitchen with Jancee Dunn

Jancee Dunn joins Mallory is in the MILK Studio to talk about her latest book, "How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids."

Photo: Elena Seibert

Photo: Elena Seibert

Jancee is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, including a memoir of her years at Rolling Stone, a book she co-wrote with Cyndi Lauper, and a children’s book, "I'm Afraid Your Teddy Is In Trouble Today," about stuffed animals up to no good. Her essay collection, "Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?" was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Parents.

Check her out at JanceeDunn.net