Purvi Poets

Forewording Beauty

Books & Writings

I write to plumb experiences and foster felt knowledge, embody joy and transformation, as well as connect people within and through language towards equity and liberation.

Miracle Marks, my forthcoming poetry collection with Curbstone Books at Northwestern University Press, will be out in 2019!!! In many places, surviving birth as a girl child is a miracle. Everywhere, a girl is a miracle mark. Miracle Marks examines how women are marked and the marks women make by delving what it means to be a woman and what it means to be. Drawing upon Hindu iconography, including the figures of Saraswati, Mirabai, and Maya — and through sound energy and use of white space — the poems mark the miracles of women’s labors, devotions, and survivals. Catch a glimpse of the book with two poems here.

Terrain Tracks, Purvi Shah's debut poetry bookTerrain Tracks (New Rivers Press: 2006), my debut poetry book, threads currents of migration and belonging. You will find poems on love & loss, nature & community, movement & place — and journeys yet to come. Winner of the Many Voices Project Prize, Terrain Tracks was nominated for the 2007 Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award. Terrain Tracks has been taught in university courses with poems shared on TV, radio shows, and diverse media. Get your own copy of Terrain Tracks.

Interested in devotion, women’s status, and being? Then delve my 2015 chaplet, Dark Lip of the Beloved — Sound Your Fiery God-Praise. Order chaplet #179 from Belladonna* here — I’m thrilled to be in fierce company.

You can also check out my creepy collaborative speculative fiction story, “Mirrored Women,” written with Anjali Deshmukh: we re-cast the Arabian Nights from our women’s vantage.

My first play, Light as a Mountain, had a staged reading in June 2016 through INKTank, a playwrights residency by Rising Circle Theater Collective. In addition to being a 2016-17 LMCC Workspace Resident, I currently serve as a board member of The Poetry Project.

I have performed at spaces as diverse as vigils to end violence, open mics, public libraries, and poetry festivals. My creative work has been published in numerous journals including Descant, Drunken Boat, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, and Weber Studies. My poetry appears in anthologies such as Contours of the Heart, The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry, Indivisible, NuyorAsian, and Screaming Monkeys. If you like when poetry plays hard to get, you can check out The Diasporic Imagination for more of my work.

I have essays on writing poetry in Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing, and Teaching.

Many moons ago, I did an interview with Eileen Tabios for her book on Asian American poetics and poetry-in-progress: Black Lightning.

For astute non-fiction analysis to go with your poetry, check out my article on activism in the 90s South Asian American community in Dragon Ladies.

You can find more of my poems online (immediately!) at Pagepourri.

And go on to explore my social practice art projects in diverse communities.