Purvi Poets

Forewording Beauty

Poetry as Change/Change as Poetry

Purvi Shah poet and anti-violence advocate

Here’s to making moves for collective change

Miracle Marks, my second poetry collection with Curbstone Books at Northwestern University Press, is now out!!! 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.

From a young age, I had a passion for questions. For exploring the tense magics of our world. Why inequity and injustice exist. Perhaps these questions found seed because I came to the U.S. as an immigrant or because I have grown up amongst a world of women.

From this genesis, I continue the quest for social transformation & justice through two primary vehicles: advocacy for social justice and as a social practice artist & writer, predominantly of poetry and articles.

I have a 20-year track record furthering equity, safety, and opportunities for underserved communities — especially via coalition-building to drive change from diverse constituents. As part of my community change work, I served as the Executive Director of an anti-violence organization and made possible holistic services, innovative films, and concrete language access policy change.

In recent years, I have kindled beauty & change through the civil rights community-based poetry project, Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and Re-Vision 9/11, the creative expression & healing workshop Movement to Power, and through public poetry performances at anti-violence gatherings. I have an award-winning book of poetry, Terrain Tracks, a new chaplet Dark Lip of the Beloved: Sound Your Fiery God-Praise, and I am currently working on creative collaborations with visual artist Anjali Deshmukh. I am a 2016-17 LMCC Workspace Resident and currently serve as a board member of The Poetry Project.

May we together encounter poetry as change and change as poetry.

Find out about my work for social justice & ending violence to make our world one we desire here.

Find more about my prize-winning book and where you can get it.

Come to a reading or performance.

Explore the art of change and my poems.

Dig deep into ruminations on poetry and change.

See what others have to say about my work.

And don’t leave without hearing remarkable women’s voices.

Follow me @PurviPoets.

Thank you for forewording beauty!