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Shira Erlichman - - Odes To Lithium w/ Monica Sok, sam sax, Safia Elhillo, Charif Shanahan, & Hieu Minh Nguyen
Tuesday, November 12
EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS is excited to welcome Shira Erlichman to celebrate the publication of her debut book of poetry, Odes to Lithium, on Tuesday, October 1st at 7pm. She will be joined by Monica Sok, sam sax, Safia Elhillo, Charif Shanahan, & Hieu Minh Nguyen
In this remarkable debut, Shira Erlichman pens a love letter to Lithium, her medication for Bipolar Disorder. With inventiveness, compassion, and humor, she thrusts us into a world of unconventional praise. From an unexpected encounter with her grandmother's ghost, to a bubble bath with Bjӧrk, to her plumber's confession that he, too, has Bipolar, Erlichman buoyantly topples stigma against the mentally ill. These are necessary odes to self-acceptance, resilience, and the jagged path toward healing. With startling language, and accompanied by her bold drawings and collages, she gives us a sparkling, original view into what makes us human.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shira Erlichman is a poet, musician, and visual artist. She was born in Israel and immigrated to the US when she was six. 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 debut poetry book, Odes to Lithium, came out in September 2019. She is also the author and illustrator of the picture book Be/Hold. When not on tour, she lives in Brooklyn where she teaches writing and creates.
Hieu Minh Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese American poet from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Press, 2014) and Not Here (Coffee House Press, 2018). A recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, Hieu is also a 2018 McKnight Writing Fellow, a Kundiman Fellow, and a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets, and The New York Times. He is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
Monica Sok is the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). She is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the recipient of fellowships from Hedgebrook, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Kundiman, Jerome Foundation, and others. Currently, Sok is a 2018-2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and also teaches poetry at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants and Banteay Srei in Oakland. She is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania
sam sax is a queer, jewish, writer & educator. The author of Madness winner of The National Poetry Series and ‘Bury It’ winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He's the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, & Buzzfeed. He’s a 2018 + Ruth Lilly Fellow from The Poetry Foundation & currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Southern Illinois University Press, 2017), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. His poems appear in American Poetry Review, New Republic, New York Times Magazine, PBS NewsHour, Poetry, and other journals. His work has also been anthologized in American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time (Graywolf, 2018), edited by former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; Furious Flower Poetry Center's forthcoming Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (Northwestern University Press, 2019); The BreakBeat Poets Vol 3: Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket, 2019); and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; the Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry; a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to Morocco; and residency fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, La Maison Baldwin in St Paul, France, and the Rauschenberg Foundation, among other honors and recognitions. Former Programs Director of the Poetry Society of America, he has taught poetry at California College for the Arts (CCA), Collegio di Milano (Italy), New York University, and Stanford University, where is he currently a Jones Lecturer in Poetry. Originally from the Bronx, he lives in San Francisco.
Safia Elhillo is the author of the poetry collection The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and a 2018 Arab American Book Award, and the novel in verse Nima on the Other Side (forthcoming 2021 from Make Me A World/Random House). She holds an MFA from The New School, a Cave Canem Fellowship, and a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. In addition to appearing widely in journals and anthologies, her work has been translated into several languages and commissioned by Under Armour and the Bavarian State Ballet. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). She was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30” and is a 2019-2021 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.