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Katie Farris is the author of the memoir-in-poems, Standing in the Forest of Being Alive from Alice James Books (US) and Liverpool University Press (UK), which was listed as a Publisher’s Weekly’s Top 10 Poetry Books for 2023. She is also the author of the hybrid-form text boysgirls, (Marick Press, 2011; Tupelo Press 2019), and the chapbooks A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, winner of the 2021 Chad Walsh Poetry Award, Thirteen Intimacies (Fivehundred Places, 2017), and Mother Superior in Hell (Dancing Girl, 2019). Most recently she is winner of the Pushcart Prize. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, and Poetry, and has been commissioned by MoMA. She is the co-translator of several books of poetry from the Ukrainian, French, Chinese, and Russian, most recently, The Country Where Everyone's Name is Fear, Translations of Lydmila and Boris Khersonsky. She graduated with an MFA from Brown University, and is currently Visiting Associate Professor of Poetry at Princeton University.


“Katie Farris’s spare and lyrical language levitates—she is a haunting and new revelation.” 

Kate Bernheimer

editor of The Fairy Tale Review

“Katie Farris is brilliant in her imagining of survival and depends on the music of language as proof, “a language I can read/this scene has a door/I cannot close I stand/within its wedge/I stand within its shield.” Standing In the Forest of Being Alive is an enchanting book of poems that question and praise the body even as it deteriorates. You are holding in your hands words that come across as chants, as spells, as prayer.” 

Jericho Brown

author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 

The Tradition

“Farris states her intention to “find, in the midst of hell / what isn’t hell,” and what she does find is both insightful and heartening. In the darkness of cancer, she discovers light — and the journey to find light, the speaker’s efforts, are just as extraordinary as the light itself.” 

Olga Livshin

The Los Angeles Review of Books

“With its immersive magic and unforgettable imagery, life surges through this tiny, gorgeous book that rewards and re-rewards with each tumble down its rabbit hole.” 

The Literary Review

“In the midst of shock and pain, this book rings with love of language.” 

Rae Armantrout 

author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 


“With signature wit, Farris engages in a power struggle with mortality and in the end, her ferocity and conviction win through language that sings.” 

Victoria Chang

author of the nationally acclaimed


“Extraordinary poems by Katie Farris—riddling, devastating, peculiarly spritely poems about death, cancer, Emily Dickinson, the limits of mind and body… The heart knocks fast with and for this poet, the top of one’s head blown off, as Emily Dickinson almost said.” 

Maureen N. McLane

Paris Review

“The real genius of Standing in the Forest of Being Alive is how Katie Farris’s poems orbiting her cancer continuously turn toward wonder, deep wonder made wise by having known profound suffering: "One must train oneself to find, in the midst of hell, / what isn’t hell." The poems braid the incessant urgent demands of a sick body with the incessant urgent demands of a sick country, a dying earth. The effect is brilliant, vertiginous—but also kind of shockingly readable and, importantly often really funny. Farris had given us a truly wise, unforgettable, delight-full book.” 

Kaveh Akbar

author of the nationally acclaimed 

Pilgrim Bell

“One must train oneself to find, in the midst of hell, what isn’t hell, Farris writes in her poem “The Wheel”—For instance, the way you folded love into a booklet/and gave it to me to read. If such a lyric art is possible, of finding one’s way through the inferno of cancer survival, of writing despite and with the body, commending to paper the luminous terror of having come through, these pages would be an account of that love, folded into a booklet. Brava!” 

Carolyn Forché

author of nationally acclaimed

The Country Between Us

“Farris's language is delicious, maddening and mythic, dreamlike, sarcastic, witty...tales come alive as myths, as dreams.” 

 American Book Review

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