Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss

2021 Inanna Publications (2nd edition)
$22.95 plus shipping
Available Fall 2021

This second edition includes a new long essay by Warland and a Foreword by Susan Olding.

In this compelling and beautiful work of creative non-fiction, writer and poet Betsy Warland takes the reader with her as she negotiates her mother’s growing incapacity and death. Her narrative traces the story that bound them together in the mother-daughter relationship, and her reflections help her find clarity, understanding and acceptance. Warland weaves a common ground that moves beyond duty and despair, providing both questions and guideposts for readers, particularly those faced with ageing and ill parents and their loss.


Warland achieves something unexpected – an inspiring story of mother-daughter reconnection.
Room of One’s Own

Get the inside story with Bloodroot extras below.

2000 Second Story Press (1st edition)

This first edition is out of print. Limited (and signed) copies are available from Betsy below. An E-book of the first edition is also available for purchase below.

Since its publication in 2000, Bloodroot – Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss continues to be my most beloved book. Although it’s been out of print for a couple of years, readers and writers frequently tell me how much it means to them. Recently, a woman who had read Bloodroot in her book club mentioned it to her husband, who read it. Then they bought copies for their family attending his mother’s memorial service.

The first edition is available below as a paperback or an E-book.

Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss
Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss
2000 Second Story Press
Inscription to include (optional):

Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss
Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss
E-book (pdf download)
2000 Second Story Press

Bloodroot Extras

Get the inside story about how I wrote my book, Bloodroot: Tracing the Untelling of Motherloss.

What kind of tending did the seedling of Bloodroot require?

After a month or so of handwriting the beginning pieces of Bloodroot, I realized I had to pace myself even more than my plan to inscribe first drafts of Bloodroot in the mornings; do final revisions on What Holds Us Here in the afternoons.

I had never before encountered such a strong imperative to slow down my writing process. It was disorienting and I doubted it. I tried to fudge it a bit (slow down a bit more) but it didn’t co-operate. The writing faltered.

read more

What made the seed for Bloodroot germinate?

This is one of the most challenging points in writing any narrative: how to move from an idea, or an initial jotting of an intriguing snippet on to a sustained inscribing of the narrative. It’s so tenuous! With Bloodroot, I did something instinctively: I begin writing...

read more

What first planted the seed for writing Bloodroot?

The seed for writing Bloodroot was sown the fall before my mother’s death in May. I had driven down from Saskatoon to visit her in Fort Dodge, Iowa at the care facility she lived in. This was the area in which she had lived her entire life. One afternoon while having...

read more