Berl's Poetry Shop was founded in 2010 by Jared White and Farrah Field, during their engagement to be married. (Their wedding, naturally, involved poetry readings instead of traditional vows.) In addition to now being the parents of a four-year old named Roman and a two-year-old named August, they are both widely published poets, online and in print.
Farrah is the author of two books of poems, Rising and Wolf and Pilot, both published by Four Way Books. She also wrote a chapbook, Parents, published by Immaculate Disciples. Her writing was included in the Best American Poetry 2011. Jared's published chapbooks include This Is What It Is Like To Be Loved By Me from Bloof Books, My Former Politics from H-NGM-N and Yellowcake from Cannibal Books.
They met by a stroke of luck more than ten years ago when Farrah delivered her completed MFA manuscript thesis at Columbia University on Jared's first day on campus studying poetry. They shared previous experience working at literary agencies and in publishing; Farrah also had worked at the Strand in Manhattan and the venerable Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colorado.
The dream of opening a poetry bookstore took shape as Farrah and Jared developed as writers and toured the country reading our work. Through their travels they discovered vibrant communities connected by a shared love of writing and made pilgrimages to poetry bastions like the Grolier in Cambridge, Bridge Street Books in Washington DC, Books and Bookshelves in San Francisco, Beyond Baroque in Venice Beach, Small Press Distribution in Berkeley, Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, and Pilot Books and Open Books in Seattle.
In Brooklyn, they collaborated over several years with a group of artists and writers to create in Shelton Walsmith's Gowanus painting studio an art and performance series called Yardmeter Editions, curating a mixture of poetry, music, theater, dance and one-night gallery exhibitions to a large, energetic audience sharing a vision of informality, openness, and creativity.
Berl's represents the culmination of many years of work in and around poetry.
In the summer of 2014, Farrah and Jared were joined in the shop by Carolyn Newmark, who provided invaluable support in the creation of this web site. Other volunteers who have helped with Berl's over the years include Ava Mailloux, Jess Purner, Lindsey Webb, Victor Allen, Samantha Maldonado, Bree Balsamo Alexandra Dos Santos, Chessy Normile, Danny Palevsky, Camden Zyler, Laura Buccieri, Sarah Passino, Destiny Wallace and Danny Shneyderman. Currently we are so grateful for the assistance of Miriam Elhajli and Julian Moreno helping to keep the shop open and our calendar packed with events.