Standing In The Forest of Being Alive

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Authors: Katie Farris

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Alice James Books (April 4, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 100 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1948579324
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1948579322
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.5 x 1.2 x 5.5 inches


Standing in the Forest of Being Alive is a memoir-in-poems that reckons 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. This book is for anyone who's ever asked how to live in the face of suffering, and doesn't expect an easy answer. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive looks unflinchingly at painful realities, posing the question "What isn't hell?" and finds the answer in a powerful eros, letting a loved one pull laughter out of the narrator's reluctant mouth like a "redvioletcerulean handkerchief."


About the Author

Katie Farris' work appears in The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, McSweeneys, Granta, The Believer, Poetry, Poetry London, American Poetry Review and has been commissioned by MoMA. Her poems have received Pushcart Prize, The Beloit Poetry Journal's Chad Walsh Prize, and Anne Halley Poetry Prize, given by The Massachusetts Review. She is the author of the chapbook, A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving (Beloit Poetry Journal) and boysgirls (Tupelo Press), a hybrid-form book, as well as co-translator of many books of poetry. Her own writing has been translated into numerous languages, including French, Ukrainian, Spanish and Russian. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Alice James Books) is her first collection of poetry.