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Photo: Hieu Minh Nguyen

ABOUT

For full CV, click here 

In Hebrew shira means song and poem. Born in Israel, raised in Massachusetts and now living in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is an author, visual artist, and musician. Her poems explore recovery – of language, of home, of mind - and value the "scattered wholeness" of healing. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and has been awarded the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe, as well as a residency by the Millay Colony. Her work has been featured in Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, The Huffington Post and The New York Times, among others. 

Shira believes most suffering can be traced back to isolation. She's obsessed with art as a way to experience vitality and connection. She's propelled by process, presence and potential. The mystery and transience of being alive fuel her expressions. Creativity has taught her that it's not entirely natural to confine one's self to a specific shape for too long. No matter the medium, joy and growth can be found in reaching for your newest shape, your freer form.

Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder a decade ago fundamentally changed her life and, wildly enough, deepened her love of being here. Her poetry book Odes to Lithium (Alice James Books, 2019) centers around her experiences with mental illness. Her picture book Be/Hold (Penny Candy Books, 2019) uses compound words to illuminate the beauty of friendship and what is possible when we come together.

She teaches one-on-one online poetry workshops to people all over the planet. She loves helping humans unlock possibility and fuse discipline with magic. She tours the country sharing her work and facilitating workshops.

 

Catch her on the Odes to Lithium Tour 2019 here

F•A•Qs

I want to engage with more work about mental illness.

What do you recommend? 

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison (Memoir)

Mental by Jaime Lowe (Memoir)

Who Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker (Young Adult)

I Don't Believe in God, But I Believe in Lithium by Jaime Lowe (Article)

Blud by Rachel McKibbens (Poetry)

Madness by sam sax (Poetry)

Said the Manic to the Muse by Jeanann Verlee (Poetry)

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang (Essays)

Lithium on Radiolab (Podcast)

You're freakishly multi-disciplinary.

I want to engage with more work about creativity.

What do you recommend? 

Creativity: The Perfect Crime by Philipe Petit 

Acorn by Yoko Ono

What It Is by Lynda Barry

A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech, Ph.D.

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

Faces Places (documentary)