Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife -- available from the publisher at
Unlimited Publishing -- Here's a brief description of this book:
"From 1993 to 2003 my husband Jeff had a suction tube a few feet from his bed…" So begins this memoir of spousal chronic illness after nursing-home placement, the long-a-waited sequel to Dirty Details (Temple University Press), taking place before nursing-home placement. The illness progresses - feeding-tube, cognitive loss, resulting verbal/financial abuse. Society's attitudes and policies need changing, specifically concerning subtle dementia. Marion navigates other journeys - writing, publishing, new mathprof position, mental illness of one of the children. Marion's personality, interests, achievements, and activism resonate with insistence on being responsible, to not only spouse, but children, friends, students, readers, and self.
TWO NEW POETRY BOOKS OUT THIS PAST SUMMER! (2014)
Lights I Have Loved (Red Dashboard Press, NJ) It's about inner life, my own and that of others. Inner life begins at birth and I hope it doesn't end until death. For me, inner life means non-events, things that "merely" make an impression, sometimes Proustian-style. It's often lights, and darks, and matter. Math has a lot to do with it. I was a mathematician from the start. Math does indeed have to do with the shapes of things, what matter does, what we can see and what we can't see. And as for lights, all lights are "curious" but some are more curious than others. As for love, I love all lights but I love some more than others. And I love, sometimes fear, things that are light-like -- in their flashing, in their salience, their sudden-ness, their persistence, their very existence.
An obvious phrase is "a sense of wonder". Existential joy as well as existential horror. Sometimes both at the same time. I experienced it as a child and I experience it as a 70-year-old. In some ways it's different now but in some ways it's the same. It permeates my math, my teaching, my singing, my piano-playing, my loving of and communication with, sometimes alienation from, other human beings. Through writing I try to minimize the last-mentioned.
Available at Amazon
Posted October 15, 2014
Hello! Welcome to my website. Feel welcome, also, to download the entire texts of some of my unpublished books, posted here.
As many of you might know, I have twenty-three-going-on-twenty-four PUBLISHED books – the latest of which are "Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife" (Unlimited Publishing, IN; it's "featured" at the very top of this homepage, so you saw it if you're reading this!) and the poetry books "Lights I Have Loved" (Red Dashboard Press, NJ) and "Sizes Only Slightly Distinct" (Green Fuse Press, CO). I would also like to "call attention" to my book of poetry about the experience of and my passion for math — "Crossing the Equal Sign" (Plain View Press, TX) – and also to "Chronic Progressive" (same press), the last in my "well spouse poetry trilogy" about my first husband's 26 years with multiple sclerosis and the effect on the entire family (including four children). Some other published books are "Surviving the Alphabet" (Huge Pathetic Force, PA – my first UNthemed poetry collection), "Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse" (Temple University Press, PA – the prequel to "Still the End", mentioned above), "Epsilon Country" (the second of the well spouse poetry trilogy (The Center for Thanatology Research, NY), and "An Ambitious Sort of Grief (my pregnancy loss journal, from The Liberal Press, TX).
By way of further introduction, I'm a mathematician as well as a writer, with a math Ph.D. from Connecticut Wesleyan. Currently I teach math part time at Arcadia University in Glenside PA; I'm particularly excited about a course I developed – Truth and Beauty: Mathematics in Literature – which has run every semester for almost seven years. An article about that course (with the same title as the course) appears in the March 2013 issue of The Mathematics Teacher. I also write reviews of math texts and other math books for The American Mathematical Monthly, MAA Online, and The Mathematical Intelligencer. And, if you want or need to learn a little calculus, click on the link to my article "The Case of the Missing Speedometer: The First Day of Calc 1", in the January 2015 issue of The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics.
About my "math poetry", in "Crossing" and otherwise: Some of the images in the poems come from math concepts, but readers don't have to understand the math in order to feel whatever the poem makes them feel. In fact, sometimes something is added by non- understanding, or partial understanding. Non-mathematicians can and do experience math in positive and/or meaningful ways, and the poems have appeared in literary as well as math journals. At any rate, they're meant to be about passion for math, and for all exploration and truth. I never knew math and truth to be anything but emotional. The mysteriousness of math is like the mysterious of science fiction.
My writings about pregnancy loss and spousal chronic illness/care giving are well known in, resp., the bereaved parent community and the well spouse community (in particular the Well Spouse Association – wellspourse.org). In 1977 my third baby, a little girl named Kerin, died at the age of two days, just around the same time that Jeff, my first husband, was diagnosed with M.S. It seems that whenever anything happens to me, I write five or six books about it. The books have helped me, and I'm told that they've helped others. Decades later I still get appreciative emails from readers! (Google Marion Deutsche Cohen, or Marion D. Cohen, to find out about those books, and any books and other info not on this site; there's plenty!)
In my non-writing and non-math life I love classical piano, singing (first soprano), Scrabble, thrift-shopping (Look for my posts on thethriftshopper.com.), my four grown living children, five gran's, and Jon (second husband).
The unpublished (except for this site) books are posted here in full under the following:
"Oaktag and Eyeballs: Thoughts about Children, Education, and Society": This is a controversial book, partly about home-schooling, in particular my own and my family's version of it, but also about how society views and treats children, and thereby all people. The topic of home-schooling arises frequently, but education isn't the only stage upon which child-rearing and life-living wrongs are played. Serious questions result from myths and misinformation, and from viewing home-schooling in uninformed, apolitical ways. School is not the only institution; this book identifies others, including the home and certain societal offerings "for" children. Some approaches to home-schooling excite me more than others. Home-schooling alone won't solve society's problems, although I believe it's possible that home-schooling, child-rearing, and education in general done "correctly" will.
"Not Erma Bombeck": This book is about being a feminist mother of young children, active in the feminist movement of the 70's, what that felt like. ("Mothers constitute an oppressed class, but that is not a reason for a woman not to choose to become a mother.")
"Permission to Add": This is my collection, so far, of math-teaching limericks. (I'm proud that I've recently begun getting "Faculty Development Grants" from my university for writing these limericks.) Some of them have appeared in math journals (in particular, a page of them in Math Horizons), but the entirety appears only on this site.
And finally, "Limericks about Women Mathematicians" – probably self-explanatory. Some of these appear on JoAnne Growney's site, Intersections: Mathematics with Poetry. Definitely check out that site!
In the past year and a half, I've hit it quite lucky (and I like to think plucky) as a writer, finding publishers for a lot of my poems that, previously, appeared under posts like "The Loneliness of the Short Distance Runner", "The Three-Pointed Star", and "The Woman Mathematician". So I've changed this site to not include those posts, but to instead post sample poems from some of my more recent published books -- "Crossing the Equal Sign", "Lights I Have Loved", "Parables for a Rainy Day", "Sizes Only Slightly Distinct", and "Closer to Dying" (forthcoming in 2016 from WordTech Editions).
I hope you'll check out some or all of these posts, and some published books too! Again, welcome to my site and I hope you get something out of it. I'd love to hear from you if you do! And maybe I'll "see" you on Twitter (@MarionDCohen) or Facebook (Author Marion Deutsche Cohen).