little astronaut


little astronaut is a little book of early motherhood poems and writings, three of which  were in Mike Birbiglia’s The New One on Broadway and on Netflix.

The first edition of little astronaut is sold out. All proceeds went to Every Mother Counts.

I occasionally have small batches of 100 for sale. If you are interested go to this link and put in a request to be emailed when they are back in stock.  All proceeds will continue to go to Every Mother Counts. 

Check back here about news of the 2nd edition.

Artwork by Claire Keane

more about little astronaut:

There’s that moment in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, when Emily Webb asks from the grave, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? –every, every minute?” “No,” she’s told. “The saints and poets, maybe. —they do some.” J. Hope Stein realizes life not just as she lives it, but as she gives it. In little astronaut we feel her give life, feed life, and wait for the time when the person she made must live life, “every, every minute” all on its own. I don’t know from Saints. But J. Hope Stein is Poet. I read this collection, choked-up, laughing, and in awe.

John Mulaney


J. Hope Stein is one of my favorite poets. Her images are outrageously vivid and memorable. Her music is alive, is unpredictable, is tender, is voracious. 

little astronaut is a beautiful orchestration of the strange experience we call human. There is humor here, and wisdom. This astronaut shows us how to find, among the most mundane details, a little bit of magic. In our era of so much destruction and disappointment, what luck to come across this bundle of laughter.

❤ Ilya Kaminsky ❤


In Little Astronaut, J. Hope Stein writes a parental love so new to her, so overwhelming, that the poems read almost as if Stein were the first person to feel parental love at all. Rarely do such poems so thoroughly inhabit the moment. These poems convince me, effortlessly, that I am seeing the world new.

❤ Shane McCrae ❤ 


The brave, electric, hilarious and indelibly true poems of LITTLE ASTRONAUT convey the utter shock that is, has always been, and will always be…parenthood.

❤ Jean Hanff Korelitz ❤


Through J. Hope Stein, the reader sees mothering an infant as a primal force to be reckoned with. Tempered by humor and love, J. Hope Stein puts us in it, in her very bodily experience of it.  I weaned my son years ago, and … uh … I was afraid my milk was going to come in while reading these funny, irreverent, intense poems.  

❤ Joanna Penn Cooper ❤



I’ve been joining Mike Birbiglia on stage for comedy/poetry experiments at theaters like the Cherry Lane Theater and Largo at the Coronet. 


6 thoughts on “little astronaut

  1. Dear Jen,

    Please print more copies of Little Astronaut! I need to read this book! I saw The New One play while pregnant and I thought “the earth of mother” was a sweet idea, but I didn’t yet understand. Now having finished The New One book, while caring for my 3-month old, I have an entirely new perspective. I now know what it feels like to be someone’s ground.

    With Appreciation,

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