by Chanel Brenner

Book cover featuring a heart drawn in milk

On October 1, 2014, Silver Birch Press released Vanilla Milk: A Memoir Told in Poems by Chanel Brenner.

The 104-page collection focuses on a mother's and family response to the sudden death of the author's six-year-old son. These poems might be read as written snapshots forming an elegiac album, depicting how a traumatic loss alters relationships, love, and parenting, and perceptions of danger, time, and life.

Characterized by unsparing honesty, clarity, and restraint, the poems explore the limits inherent in "recovering" from the grief of losing a child, and the need to continue experiencing joy. Includes a 20-page album of family photographs.

Praise for Vanilla Milk:

"The poems inside of this book were torn from the heart of a woman whose suffering is so immense that it could swallow her whole. Instead of letting the staggering pain consume her, Chanel Brenner crafted these undeniably gorgeous meditations on the death of her son. I read Vanilla Milk four times before putting it down, because I was afraid to let it go. Chanel Brenner has crafted a resplendent work of art that is unrivaled in its ability to make sense of the ebbs and flows of grief."
Matthew Logelin, New York Times bestselling author of Two Kisses for Maddy

"Chanel Brenner's Vanilla Milk is a transcendent work. The skill and courage of these poems inspire me to be a better writer, the generosity in them inspires me to be a better person."
Mia Sara, author at [PANK]

Vanilla Milk is now available at


has had her poems appear in Cultural Weekly, Poet Lore, Rattle, The Coachella Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Foliate Oak, Glassworks, and others. She was awarded first prize for her poetry in The Write Place At the Write Time's contest. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.