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In Hebrew shira means song and poem. Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist, and musician. Her work explores recovery – of language, of home, of mind. Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a decade ago fundamentally changed her life and, wildly enough, deepened her love of being here. Her award-winning poetry collection Odes to Lithium centers around her experiences with mental illness & was celebrated for its "stylistic upheavals" & "tremendous malleability & verve" (NY Times). Her picture book Be/Hold: A Friendship Book uses compound words to illuminate what is possible when we come together.
Her work, heralded for "destigmatizing Bipolar Disorder through candor, intimacy & creativity" (NY Times), has been featured in PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, & The New York Times, among others. She has been a returning guest host on The Slowdown. Erlichman is the founder of Freer Form, a global creativity school best known for its dynamic digital writing community In Surreal Life.
She earned her BA at Hampshire College. She has been awarded the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry, the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe, as well as residencies by Millay, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and MacDowell. She was a Finalist for the Lambda Award & a Silver Medalist for the Nautilus Award.
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