Books & Writings

Through language, I open space for healing and liberation.

Marking Feminine Power: Women, the Sacred, and Equity (featuring dancers Aditi Dhruv & Kuldeep Singh and me)
Miracle Marks Poems by Purvi Shah

In many places, including India, where I was born, surviving birth as a girl child is a miracle. Drawing upon Hindu iconography, particularly the figures of Saraswati, Mirabai, and Maya, Miracle Marks explores women’s survivals. I’ve led interactive gender equity and creative writing workshops at universities with Miracle Marks. Generating sound energy and moving through white space, the poems delve what it means to be a woman and what it means to be. Read two poems from the book and Seema Reza’s book review. And experience the music from the book launch.

Terrain Tracks, Purvi Shah's debut poetry book

Terrain Tracks (New Rivers Press: 2006), my debut poetry book, plumbs migration, loss, and belonging. 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.

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.

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

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 Collaborative for Restoring Healing & Transforming Communities, I continue to advance restorative practices and community-based solutions to addressing violence.

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.