Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother

It’s sometimes hard to believe that one can go from having everything, or more than many, to not having much at all. But it’s nice to see a person take their lack of resources and still become a success. One person who can relate to this is author Barbara Morrison. A few years after graduating from college with a BA in English, her marriage collapsed and she found herself forced to go on welfare. It is this experience of a world very different from the one in which she grew up that she describes in her memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother.


Innocent is a coming-of-age story that dispels some of the myths and misunderstandings about those living in poverty. Growing up in a prosperous neighborhood, Morrison was taught that poverty was a product of laziness and public assistance programs only rewarded irresponsibility. However, when her marriage soured, she abruptly found herself an impoverished single mother. Disowned by her parents and facing destitution for herself and her two small sons, she was forced to accept the handout so disdained by her parents and their world: welfare. This dramatic memoir tells how one woman finds and grasps the lifeline that ultimately enables her to become independent.

When she read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, about people working minimum wage jobs, Morrison wished someone would write a similar book about welfare mothers. Writer and teacher Marita Golden persuaded her to be that someone. Innocent has won several awards including a bronze IPPY from Independent Publishers and Finalist for ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year for Memoir/Autobiography. Hillary Rodham Clinton said of Innocent, “I am grateful to you for sharing your personal story and demonstrating the positive impact that social assistance programs make upon families, communities, and our country. Yours is a vital story to tell.”

Bio: Barbara Morrison, who writes under the name B. Morrison, is the author of a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother, and two poetry collections. Terrarium and Here at Least. Barbara’s award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and, as the owner of a small press, speaks about publishing and marketing. She has maintained her Monday Morning Books blog since 2006 and tweets regularly about poetry @bmorrison9. For more information, visit her website and blog at

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