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Constance Hanstedt

Photo_HanstedtConstance Hanstedt is an author, poet, and business owner living in Northern California. Her poetry has received numerous awards and has appeared in Calyx, Rattle, Naugatuck River Review, The Comstock Review, and many other literary journals. Her poem “Ode to Beige” was published in Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet (2013), a collection of poems, prompts, craft tips, and interviews. Don’t Leave Yet was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association memoir competition in 2011.



About Don’t Leave Yet

9781631529528_fcAs a young girl in the Midwest, Constance Hanstedt was consumed by fear—of her parents, especially her disapproving mother, of social situations, and of people in general. Unable to connect with those around her, she embraced perfectionism as a substitute for love.

Raising her own family eased some of Hanstedt’s self-doubt, but even as an adult, she remained guarded around her mother, avoiding conflict with her at all costs. Still, when her mother developed Alzheimer’s, Hanstedt did what the perfect daughter she’d always struggled to be would do: she returned to the Midwestern town where she was raised to care for a mother who could no longer care for herself.

In Don’t Leave Yet, Hanstedt recounts her journey toward facing her fears and rising above the past; her mother’s unrelenting bitterness toward life, even as she loses her memories of it; and her unexpected discovery of an emotion that reaches beyond familial duty: compassion.