At Words March 4: Author Jay Erickson Fights Cancer With Poetry

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jay erickson at MSK

On Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m., Jay Erickson will be reading at Words Maplewood from BLOOM, an illustrated book of poetry released in 2015 with origins in the author’s experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment.

100% of proceeds from sales of the book go to benefit rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

One reviewer wrote that BLOOM “feels like open heart poetry. It is not simply about healing. It is healing.”

Erickson studied poetry in college and wrote off and on when he was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer in 2013. As part of coping with the diagnosis and treatment he began to write more regularly in order to understand and process the experience. He maintained a blog to keep friends and family informed and would occasionally post poems because they often seemed able to communicate what prose could not. He was encouraged to write more and joined Sloan Kettering’s Visible Ink program through which he was mentored by poet Mary Tautin Moloney.


BLOOM was edited by Maplewood resident Mary Tautin Moloney, a freelance writer and editor with an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in Tar River Poetry and Quarterly West, among others, and she was selected as a Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency fellow in 2015. Originally from Wisconsin, Mary lives with her husband and two children in Maplewood. She dedicates her work on BLOOM to friend Diane deCavaignac, who inspired her involvement with Sloan Kettering’s Visible Ink program, and to all those writing in the spirit of Jay Erickson, with great courage and generosity.

Jay is a musician, producer, entrepreneur, beekeeper, carpenter, wanderer and gardener. He lives in Pawling, NY with his wife, daughter, chickens, dog, bees and cat.

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