Photo: Hieu Minh Nguyen

In Hebrew shira means song and poem.


Born in Israel, now living in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is an author,

visual artist, and musician. Her poems explore 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.

Shira is the founder of Freer Form, a portable creativity school.

She earned her BA at Hampshire College. She 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,

The Seattle Times, and The New York Times, among others. 




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'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)

  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • SoundCloud - Black Circle