Courtesy Cloud & Leaf Bookstore
MANZANITA — “I can scarcely remember the first / time we came to this doctor, / David three, diagnosed delayed / as though he were a flight / that might land anytime.”
So begins Phyllis Mannan’s poetry chapbook, “Bitterbrush,” about her adult son with autism. The short collection was recently released by Finishing Line Press.
The poet will read from her chapbook 6 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita.
The author began writing about her son David in an attempt to understand him. Later, she wanted to discover what happens to family relationships when the ability to communicate and understand feelings is severely limited. Through her poems and nonfiction stories, she also hopes to give her son — and perhaps others with unique ways of thinking — a voice in the world.
Based on poems in “Bitterbrush,” Mannan received an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship in Poetry. Her poems have appeared in Cloudbank, the North Coast Squid, The Oregonian, Rain Magazine, StringTown, Verseweavers, Willow Springs and other publications. Her memoir, “Torn Fish: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and Their Shared Humanity,” published in 2015, explores the questions, “What happens when a child with autism grows up?” and “What makes us human?”
An advocate for adults with developmental disabilities and their families, Phyllis has served on the board of directors of Edwards Center and Bethesda Lutheran Communities Family Association. A former high school English teacher, she lives with her husband in Manzanita.
Finishing Line Press is a poetry publisher based in Georgetown, Kentucky. In addition to the Chapbook Series, it publishes the New Women’s Voices Series.
You may order a copy of “Bitterbrush” at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore or online at finishinglinepress.com/product/bitterbrush-by-phyllis-mannan/ or at Amazon.com.