Join us at Berl’s for another invigorating class and workshop with poet Farrah Field!

Class meets for five Tuesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

October 22, 29, November 5, 12, and 19.

Why would someone, in their final days, spend their time writing poetry? What can poetry do for a person writing in the hospital, between MRIs and surgeries, experiencing great amounts of pain, taking medications, and while suffering from diagnosed and undiagnosed illnesses? Join poet and Berl’s co-founder Farrah Field as we respectfully gather in class to read works by poets writing through and into illness and pain. We will look at poetry as catharsis, as a way to generate understanding, a way to ponder the imponderable. As we rethink of the way time unfolds, we will look at poetry is an art form fueled by study, dedication, and love.


How do poets address physical and bodily pain in their poetry? Do they write through it, past it, in spite of it, to understand it, to embody it, to overcome it? Does the pain of the body write into a poet’s form and structure? How do we as readers read their illnesses into their work? Why is it, despite all odds, poets find a way to write poetry?


Throughout our study we will workshop our own poems and respond to each other’s work. Illness and pain can be a repressed reality of anyone’s truth and we will explore how spaces and communities include the voices of those living with and expressing illness, how it makes us confront avoided feelings, visibility and invisibility, and connectivity or isolation. We will reflect on the gift of five poets’ work, the body of their craft, and poetry as a life record and an act of tending to the body.

Our Reading List:

THE LAST BOOKS OF HÉCTOR VIEL TEMPERLEY translated from Spanish by Stuart Krimko

THE SOLUBLE HOUR by Hillary Gravendyk

CANCER ANGEL by Beth Murray


THE UNDYING by Anne Boyer


All five books are included with the class fee, $300.

We will discuss the books as well as workshop our own poems

and we will have a healthy snack!

Farrah Field is the author of WOLF AND PILOT, RISING, and the chapbook PARENTS. She lives in Brooklyn and is the co-founder of Berl’s Poetry Shop.