STANDING IN THE FOREST OF BEING ALIVE

Forthcoming from Alice James Books April 2023

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Standing in the Forest of Being Alive, a collection of poems that reckon with erotic love even as the narrator is diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the age of thirty-six, during a time of pandemic and political upheaval. With humor and honesty, the book portrays both the pleasures and the horrors of the lover, the citizen, and the medical subject. How can we find, in the midst of hell, what isn’t hell? And whom can we tell how much we want to live? An intimate, hilarious and devastating look into some of the most private moments of a life—even if they happen to occur in a medical office with six strangers looking on. The book is scheduled to be published by Alice James Books in April 2023.

ADVANCED PRAISE

“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 has given us a truly wise, unforgettable, delight-full book.”

— Kaveh Akbar,

author of Pilgrim Bell and 

To Call A Wolf A Wolf