The book is called A Doorway, A Candle, A Weapon, A Ship, and according to Shreveport poet Katie Bickham, is a “doorway” to the female body.

“These poems tell the stories of women in various stages of the maternal cycle: menstruation, pregnancy, abortion, birth, nursing, and so on,” said Bickham, who teaches at Bossier Parish Community College. “They go back as far as the early 1800s, which was when men started to enter the field of obstetrics and more or less steal it from midwives. So this collection really looks at how this most womanly experience has been altered by men’s presence, whether direct or indirect, in the maternal process.”

Bickham was recently selected by previous Louisiana Poet Laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon, and will have her book published in 2019 by LSU Press. Poems from the collection have been published in Radar, The Missouri Review, Southern Quarterly, New Millennium Writings and Frontier. This is Bickham’s second book published, her first being The Belle Mar in 2015.

“My hope is for this to be sort of a rallying cry for women to close ranks and start to take care of each other again, to reclaim our sisterhood and what makes our bodies sacred,” said Bickham.

The Louisiana State University of Shreveport alumna will be hosting a public reading of select poems from her book A Doorway, A Candle, A Weapon, A Ship from 6-7 p.m. on Oct. 3 at LSUS in room 261 inside Bronson Hall. She’ll be back again on Oct. 10 for a public poetry workshop, as well.

You can read more about the Shreveport native here.