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In Hebrew shira means song and poem.
Born in Israel, now living in Brooklyn, 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 poetry book Odes to Lithium centers around her experiences with mental illness. Her picture book Be/Hold: A Friendship Book uses compound words to illuminate what is possible when we come together. Her work has been featured in Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, The Huffington Post, The Seattle Times, and The New York Times, among others.

Shira is the founder of Freer Form, a portable creativity school which centers on the 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, the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe, as well as a residency by the Millay Colony. She was a  Finalist for the Lambda Award and a Silver Medalist for the Nautilus Award. In November 2022, she will be a MacDowell Fellow.




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)


I want to engage with more work about creativity.
What's a good place to start? 

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)


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