Books & Writings

I write to open space for equity, healing, and liberation.

Miracle Marks Poems by Purvi ShahIn many places, surviving birth as a girl child is a miracle. Miracle Marks examines how women are marked as well as the marks women make. Drawing upon Hindu iconography, particularly the figures of Saraswati, Mirabai, and Maya, the poems mark women’s labors, devotions, and survivals. Through sound energy and use of white space, the poems delve what it means to be a woman and what it means to be. You can read two poems from the book and Seema Reza’s book review. Miracle Marks continues to be taught in university courses.

Terrain Tracks, Purvi Shah's debut poetry bookTerrain Tracks (New Rivers Press: 2006), my debut poetry book, threads migration and belonging. You will find poems on place, loss, love, community & nature. Winner of the Many Voices Project Prize, Terrain Tracks was nominated for the 2007 Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award. Check out my Soundtrack (a Poet’s Playlist) to accompany the collection. Terrain Tracks has been taught in university courses with poems shared on TV, radio shows, and diverse media.

My 2015 chaplet, Dark Lip of the Beloved — Sound Your Fiery God-Praise delves devotion & women. Order chaplet #179 from Belladonna* here.

You can find poems at Pagepourri and my social practice art projects in diverse communities.

I perform at spaces as diverse as vigils to end violence, open mics, public libraries, and poetry festivals. My creative work has been published in 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 Diasporic Imagination, The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry, Indivisible, NuyorAsian, and Screaming Monkeys.

I have essays on writing poetry in Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing, and Teaching. I loved working on this collaborative piece as writing is more joyful in community.

I write advocacy reports combining research, oral histories, and policy recommendations. In 2016-17, I led a first-hand stakeholder research & systems change facilitation process which spurred a 2018 NYC community-based initiative to address intimate violence. With my work with the NYC RJ IPV Collaborative, I continue to advance restorative practices and community-based solutions to addressing violence.