Purvi Poets

Forewording Beauty

Events Archive


Poetry Project’s 44th Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading on Monday, January 1, 2018 between 4-5 p.m.: Kick the new year off with the write stuff. 😉 I’m part of the most incredible slate of poets bringing beauty to the beginnings of your years. Come early, stay late (the event goes from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. the next day!) and support this amazing home for poetry!

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th St. New York, NY 10003

Ghost-Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology Reading (Split This Rock Poetry Festival) on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 1:30-3 p.m.: Join me and Camille T. Dungy, Tiffany Higgins, Elizabeth Jacobson, Nancy K. Pearson, Gretchen Primack, Katy Richey, Danez Smith, Javier Zamora, and anthology editor Melissa Tuckey for a fabulous reading!
National Housing Center AuditoriumWashington, DC

Poetic Duels: Sheyr Jangi (Split This Rock Poetry Festival) on Friday, April 20, 2018 from 3:30-5 p.m.: Poetic duels are found worldwide across cultures and times, with vibrant traditions throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. The Afghan tradition is called “sheyr jangi,” or “poetry fighting,” and has its roots in the early medieval Central Asian Courts. We pay homage to this tradition — but with a twist. We have curated a “deck” of poems by classical poets writing in Arabic, Persian, Turkic, and Urdu. With our audience’s help, we invite our featured poets to battle with these literary ancestors. Majda Gama, Rami Karim, Aurora Masum-Javed, Sahar Muradi, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Zohra Saed, and I will share original work, followed by an improvisational game channeling classical poets.

National Housing Center Conference Room B, Washington, DC

American Poets Congress on Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 4-6 p.m.: How do we define “American”? Join me and a rock star poetry crew to see many ways.

Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York City

Weave&Woven on Friday, July 20, 2018 from 6:30-10:06 p.m.: Through a residency with NURTUREartAnjali Deshmukh and I explored how we inhabit the sacred through embodied poetics and space design. In this time of heightened surveillance and criminalization of immigrants and

communities of color, how do we create space for ourselves and for beloved community? Drawing upon Hindu concepts of lila (cosmic play) and the feminine divine, we created an interactive experience engaging participants in explorations of home and belonging.

Main Street (between Plymouth and Water Streets)
Main Street (between Plymouth and Water Streets)Brooklyn, NY 11201

La Casita: Lincoln Center Out of Doors on Saturday, August 4 from 2:30-2:45 p.m. and Sunday, August 5, 2018 from 5-5:15 p.m.: I’m excited to be part of a powerful community of artist-activists giving voice to queer, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights. The superstar lineup includes poetry by Timothy DuWhite, el-Walad, Amanda Gorman, Randall Horton, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Fred Moten, José Olivarez, Danez Smith, Frank Waln, and me as well as music by Bohio Music, Los Pleneros de la 21, Madison McFerrin, Soul Inscribed, and Ulali Project.

Event on Saturday, August 4, 2018 begins at 12:00 pm at Hearst Plaza (30 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023) and on Sunday, August 5, 2018 at 2:30 pm at Teatro Pregones (575 Walton Ave, Bronx, NY 10451).


Poetry Project’s 43nd Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading on Sunday, January 1, 2017 between 5-6 p.m.: Kick the new year off with the write stuff. 😉 I’m part of the most incredible slate of poets bringing beauty to the beginnings of your years. You can check out the whole jaw-dropping roster and get tickets here. Come early, stay late (the event goes from 3 p.m.-2 a.m. the next day!) and support this amazing home for poetry!

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th St. New York, NY 10003

Soul Sister Revue on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 from 6-7:30 p.m.: It’s the 4-year anniversary of Soul Sister Revue and I’m delighted to be one of the amazing fiction and poetry readers alongside LeRonn P. Brooks, Janel Cloyd, Yadria De La Riva, and Noel Quiñones. We’ll ask and express: “what does soul mean to you?” The $10 entry includes a drink! Woot!!!

Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St.

LMCC Open Studios on Friday, April 28, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, April 29 from 1-8 p.m.: Anjali Deshmukh and I are teaming up again for an art event — “Make Yourself Meek/Make Yourself Vast” — as part of my LMCC Workspace residency. We’re going to do an interactive participatory installation exploring the body and how we move in the world — and how we seek to move. We’d love to have you participate in our experimental piece (and you can see more fab art too!). Come!

This free, two-day, art-filled event shines a spotlight on the work of over 30 incredible artists who are working across all disciplines and genres from painting and sculpture to poetry and fiction to dance and theater. Artists, who have been working in their studios at 28 Liberty Street since last September, will open their studio doors to the public for two days only, offering a unique, behind-the-scenes window into their creative practices in the visual, literary, and performing arts.

Open Studios with Workspace Artists-in-Residence
In LMCC’s Studios at 28 Liberty St., 24th Floor
Enter at the plaza level near the Jean Dubuffet sculpture

Poetic Duels: Sheyr Jangi (PEN World Voices Festival) on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 7:30-9 p.m.: Poetic duels are found worldwide across cultures and times, with vibrant traditions throughout the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. The Afghan tradition is called “sheyr jangi,” or “poetry fighting,” and has its roots in the early medieval Central Asian Courts. We pay homage to this tradition — but with a twist. We have curated a “deck” of poems by classical poets writing in Arabic, Persian, Turkic, and Urdu. With our audience’s help, we invite our featured poets to battle with these literary ancestors on the theme of Gender and Power.

Majda Gama, Rami Karim, Aurora Masum-Javed, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, and I will share original work, followed by an improvisational game channeling classical poets.

Purchase tickets here. Presented as part of the PEN World Voices Festival and in association with Ping Chong + Company and City Lore.

Dixon Place

161A Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002

A Brooklyn Poets Anthology Reading on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 7-9 p.m.: Brooklyn has long been known as having one of the most vibrant poetry scenes in the world, yet there has never been an anthology devoted to celebrating the many contemporary poets who call it home. Now there is: the Brooklyn Poets Anthology is a landmark collection offering a panoramic snapshot of the Brooklyn poetry community—itself composed of many different communities—emphasizing a variety of voices, aesthetics, and traditions through writings from 170 poets. I will be reading along with other anthology contributors — Farrah Field, Lynn Melnick, Chris Slaughter, Leigh Stein, Mervyn Taylor, Charles Theonia, and Jared White — to celebrate Brooklyn and poetry!

Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop

141 Front St., Dumbo

Social Crossings Community Potluck on Friday, June 30, 2017 from 5-11 p.m.: Come hear interview excerpts and get our toolkit as we examine the history of the Underground Railroad and race in Grinnell today. A social practice art project by Keva Fawkes, Anna Swanson, and me.

The Stew Gallery, 927 Broad Street, Grinnell, Iowa

Kula Students of Color Gathering on Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 5-7 p.m.: Come join this gathering for poetry, reflections on activism, and change.

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY


SAWCC Symposium: The Community as Studio on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 11:50 a.m.: I’m excited to be moderating a panel at the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Symposium with featured panelists: Yasmin Jahan Nupur, Indrani Nayar-Gall, Priyanka Dasgupta & Lakshmi Padmanabhan. We will delve the radical possibilities of art in occupying space, re-mapping our realities, fostering community-building, and provoking justice. Join us!

Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, 8 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003

Word for Word Poetry with Cave Canem and Belladonna* on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 7 p.m.: Relish summer with a park reading by Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Janice Lowe, Evie Shockley and me.

Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, New York, NY

Light as a Mountain Staged Reading on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.: Come hear my first play in a staged reading as part of the INKTank workshop with Rising Circle Theater Collective. What goes on behind all those windows of New York City? As everyone is busy being busy, Light as a Mountain opens windows on two immigrant families in Queens and the finance world of Manhattan. With humor, heart, and magical birds, Light as a Mountain explores our aging parents, colonialisms of work, sanctity of homes, and the power of human connection. Directed by Saheem Ali and with actors Susham Bedi, Melissa Joyner, Mahira Kakkar, Reza Salazar, Adriana Sananes, and Merlixse Ventura.

Sheen Center, 18 Bleecker St., New York, NY

South Asian Women’s Creative Collective LitFest on Saturday, May 21, 2016 12-1:30 p.m.: I’ll be speaking on poetry and community with the fabulous Aurora Masum-Javed and Adeeba Rana. Come and join in the conversation!

Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 112 W. 27th St., New York, NY

Empire Reading Series on Friday, May 13, 2016 7:30 p.m.: Join a rad squad — Jay Deshpande, Morgan Parker, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib and me — for poetry that strikes back. Thanks to Hafizah Geter and Ryann Stevenson for hosting this luminous reading series!

Art Cafe & Bar, 884 Pacific St., Brooklyn, NY 11238

Bronx Book Fair on Saturday, May 7, 2016 3:30 p.m.: How can art portray our complex truths and speak back to oppressions? Let’s explore together! I’ll be speaking on the panel “A Conversation: Women, Arts Activism, Creativity and Social Responsibility” — come join in the conversation!

Bronx Library Center, 310 East Kingsbridge Road Bronx, New York

Beauty of the Bagh: The Garden in Art and Poetry on Thursday, April 28, 2016 11 a.m.-noon: Join Rachel Parikh, Mellon Curatorial Fellow, and me for an interdisciplinary conversation on gardens (bagh) in Persian and Indian art and poetry.

Islamic Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum, 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028

Celebrating Asian American Women on Thursday, April 14, 2016 8:30-10:30 p.m.: I’m excited to perform at the NYU Asian American Women’s Alliance annual poetry & spoken word gathering to celebrate women in our communities. Join!

Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY

Book launch for Maya Pindyck’s Emoticoncert on Thursday, March 24, 2016 7:o0 p.m.: Share in an evening of poetry, visual art, drinks & food to usher in Maya Pindyck’s new book! Maya will be reading from Emoticoncert as poets Elana Bell, Melanie Maria Goodreaux, Jennie Panchy, Rachel Simon, and I share a few of our own poems. And there will be a special exhibition up of twenty artists’ visual responses to Emoticoncert. Come join in the community celebration for Maya’s new collection!

Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, 126 Front St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

After Fukushima: A 24-hour Event on Friday, March 11-Saturday, March 12, 2016: Time to remember and re-constellate. Five years since the Fukushima disaster. Come witness & join this 24-hour vigil. I’m on at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 12 between Kundiman poet April Naoko Heck at noon and writer Madhu Kaza at 2 p.m. Thanks to Kundiman & Danspace for hosting and Eiko for the vision.

St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th St, New York, NY 10003

Midnight Moonlight Marathon Reading on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016: I’m sharing poems from 5:30-5:45 p.m. as part of a fabulous benefit marathon reading to raise $1,000 to send 40 female students from Bedford Academy to the Women of the World Poetry Slam in March. A bevy of awesome poets from noon to midnight at The Commons in Brooklyn (388 Atlantic Ave).

Poetry Project’s 42nd Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading on Friday, January 1, 2016 between 8-9 p.m.: Kick the new year off with all the write stuff. 😉 I’m part of the most incredible slate of poets bringing beauty to the beginnings of your years. You can check out the whole jaw-dropping roster and get tickets here. Come early, stay late (the event goes from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. the next day!) and support this amazing home for poetry!

The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church
131 E. 10th St. New York, NY 10003


Featured Reader at Open Mic to Support 10th Annual NYC Asian American Student Conference on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

I’m excitNYCAASC Open Miced to share poetry and support NYCAASC, a student run intercollegiate organization dedicated to addressing issues pertinent to Asian/Pacific/Americans on local, national, and global scales. Every April, NYCAASC hosts a conference to provide accessible space for activists and student leaders to engage in dialogue on racial and sociopolitical matters while encouraging solidarity and initiative within the community and beyond! As someone shaped by Asian American student conferences, I’m excited to support NYCAASC and a new generation of leaders. You can too: come listen or share your own work. Anyone can sign-up to share work at: nycaasc.com/openmic

Suggested Admission: $5-$10 and Refreshments will be served

Location: A/P/A Institute at NYU, 8 Washington Mews, NY, NY

Explore Your Universe: Public Art on Saturday, August 29 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Reading at 3:30 p.m.)

On August 29th, 11am-4pm, come visit the Long Island City rooftop farm of the Brooklyn Grange to see a participatory installation about the history the Universe. Commissioned by the Queens Council on the Arts, the installation by Anjali Deshmukh will move through phases of Universe creation, from the Big Bang, to the unknown end. Participants can play a series of micro-fiction games to tell stories about our past, present, and future. In return, they receive a self-directed horoscope. At 3:30pm, join us for a reading by poet Purvi Shah. author of Terrain Tracks and Dark Lip of the Beloved: Sound YourRandom Time Generator AD Fiery God-Praise. Purvi will share poems on creation, stars, women, and the universes within & between us.

37-18 Northern Blvd, LIC, NY 11101(Just 2 stops outside Manhattan: Enter through Coffeed and follow the signs!)

We’ll Sleep Together Beneath Stars Reading on Friday, August 21 from 5-7 p.m.

I’m reading with Emily Brandt, Roberto Montes and LiraeL O from Apogee Journal, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jeremy Laureta, Julian Randall, and Claudia Cortese from Winter Tangerine, and Dante Di Stefano from the James Franco Review. Poetry, guacamole, and great river views: here’s to summer delights!

Location: Poet’s House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY

Small Press Flea: Belladonna* Reading on Saturday, August 1 from 11 a.m.-noon

Through a tribute to Mirabai, I’m sharing poetry of lineages. At this special small press bookfair, Belladonna* is featuring four women poets of diverse ethnic and national backgrounds responding to texts we consider foundational to our writing and/or social practice. Each of us — Adjua Greaves, Julia Tolo, Chia-Lun Chang, and me — will have 12 minutes to create a conversation by reading our own work alongside that of a female author or female-authored text which has influenced us. Connections between the two bodies of work may be structured or tangential. We will certainly be introduced by Emily Skillings. This book fair has readings and panels throughout the day: join us for lineages and stay for more joys!

Winter Tangerine Reading July 10

Location: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library Plaza, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY

Sisters in the Army of Almost: Winter Tangerine Reading Friday, July 12 from 7-9 p.m.

Join me and a phalanx of amazing women writers — Shinji Moon, Kristin Chang, Shira Erlichman, Claudia Cortese, Sarah Ghosal & Vinitchi Radulescu — for a reading explorin

g the relationship between the mythical, accepted conceptions of femininity, and the reality of womanhood.

Location: Bluestockings, 172 Allen St., New York, NY

MetFridays Gallery Event: Celebrate India! Poetry Reading June 19 at 6:30-8 p.m.

I’ll be sharing poems — my own and counterparts from the Deccan period (1500-1700) — as part of a special evening of music, perfume, and poetry to add texture to the Sultans of Deccan India art exhibit. Join the opulence!

Location: Met Museum, 1000 Fifth Ave., New York, NY

Public Writing, Public Libraries at Marshalltown Library: Lit Over Lunch at 11:30-1:30 and Poetry Reading Tuesday, May 12 at 2 p.m.

Come see my site-specific poem installed in vinyl on the Marshalltown Library cafe windows! I’ll be speaking to my writing process with high school students at Lit Over Lunch — and responding to questions. I’ll follow-up with a reading and more dialogue at 2 p.m. Find answers — or new questions — with poetry!

Location: Marshalltown Library Community Meeting Room, 105 W. Boone St., Marshalltown, Iowa

Public Writing, Public Libraries at Burling Library: Poetry Reading Monday, May 11 at 9 p.m.

Come see my site-specific poem installed in vinyl on Grinnell College’s Burling Library front windows! I’ll also be doing a reading as part of the finals study break. Relax and rejuvenate to poetry!

Location: Burling Library First Fl Lounge, 1111 Sixth Ave., Grinnell, Iowa

Got Advice? XXCalibur Improv Show: Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m.

It’s spring time and time for XXCalibur to SPRING into action. Heehee! Come watch me and the fabulous XXCalibur improv troupe perform in our fourth tour de force: Got Advice? What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten? Come on confess, what’s the silliest thing you have said as “advice” to another? Just in time for the glorious season of error-making (or as we call it: LIFE), we’ll be creating comedy, laughs, and groans on the spot from tales of advice-giving, advice-taking, advice-craving, and advice-mania. You can laugh with or at us. But whichever way, join us!

Who: Dacyl Acevedo, Samia Khan, Nancy Kim, Tina Lee, Ogonnaya Newman, Adeeba Rana, Purvi Shah

Drama League, 32 Avenue of the Americas (between Walker and Lispenard near the Franklin St. 1 or Canal St. trains)

Cost: Donations welcome

Poetry Reading at the College of Station Island on Friday, April 17

I’m pumped to tour Staten Island with the incredible Cornelius Eady and Rickey Laurentiis! Join us for delight.

Location: Schwerner Writers Series at the College of Staten Island Library Archive Rm 1L-216 from 2:30-4 p.m.

BPL does Poetry Month: Poetry Reading Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

Celebrate poetry and fierce women with this reading hosted by Belladonna and the Brooklyn Public Library. I’ll be reading alongside this fabulous crew: Tonya M. Foster, Erica Hunt, and Sina Queyras.

Location: Brooklyn Public Library 10 Grand Army Plz New York NY 11238


SaturNYC Poetry Rally for Justiceday, Dec. 20, 2014 at 1 p.m.: Poetry Rally for Justice at Washington Square Park

Say Something NYC Poetry Rally: Justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. A Call for Unity, Equality, Empathy, Imagination. The End of Oppression.

Thank you to the marchers, to the activist vision-keepers, to everyone working to make this world one we can all be in safely and fully. I’m grateful to Tina Chang and Marie Howe for crafting this space to challenge injustice and offer witness & poetic vision. Come join me and a host of wise & powerful poets. Let’s stir change.  

All are invited. Come make your voice heard. Read a poem, express your concerns, start a debate, say something.

Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 at 7 p.m.: Reading at McNally Jackson Books

It’s my McNally Jackson debut!!! In a reading orchestrated by the awesome Eduardo C. Corral (Slow Lightning), I’ll be reading with him, Joshua Mehigan (Accepting the Disaster), and Jim Johnstone (Dog Ear). Join the adventure: this will be an epic reading!

52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 from 2:15-3:15 p.m.: Reading at IAAC Literary Festival

I’m thrilled to be part of the first IAAC Literary Festival. I’ll be poeting alongside a crew of amazing folks: Kirun Kapur, Manav Sachdeva Maasoon, Ahsan Akbar, and Yena Sharma Purmasir with Ravi Shankar moderating. We’ll share poems and discuss poetics and dialogue with your questions. Yes!

At the South Asia Institute at Columbia University: Knox Hall Rooms 213 – 219

606 W. 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont

*Also, you may have to plan for travel: the 1 train is not running to 116th this weekend. Other trains or the reliable bus is your best bet.

Saturday, Sept. 27 anPurvi Shah Mirror Workd Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 at 1 and 5 p.m.: Mirror Work at Dumbo Arts Festival as part of the Beauty performance art series curated by the fierce artists of SAWCC.

When we turn the mirror inward, what do we see? Can we connect with our own vulnerabilities? Can our tender places find connection with others? Through interactive improvised movement, language, and performance art, Deesha Narichania, Parul Shah, and I explore our responses to these questions — and beckon yours. Come and reflect on beauty with us at this fun outdoor arts festival! We want to hear from you how we can – in a world which defines beauty so specifically – open up our vast beautiful selves, holding our scars and our light. Our performance times are at 1 and 5 p.m. on both days. Since the Movement to Power sessions, Deesha, Parul, and I are collaborating on Mirror Work, a ritual for seeing ourselves through self-compassion, expansion, and empowering beauty.

1 Main St. (between Plymouth and Water Sts) Brooklyn, NY 11201

Friday, June 27, 2014 from 7-9 p.m.: Movement to Power Film Screening

@ Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 W. 27th Street, buzzer 600  New York, NY 10003

How do we end violence and heal ourselves? See for yourself in Movement to Power, a short film by Shruti Parekh capturing the free South Asian Women’s Creative Collective six-week creative arts workshop series for healing. We brought together Asian American survivors of gender and sexual violence, gender justice advocates, and community members invested in ending violence to move, express, heal, and transform our relationship to violence — and ourselves.

With time, care, and attention, we and the world can change. This short film documents practices, strategies, and tools for increasing self-love, choicefulness, strength, and growth as explored by workshop participants with facilitators Purvi Shah, Parul Shah, Deesha Narichania. This special launch screening will be followed by a discussion featuring the facilitators and participants — with snacks and drink of course!

Movement to Power is an art and activism project organized by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence issues through public art. This project emerged as part of SAWCC’s response to the fatal rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi, India in December 2012. It has expanded to address issues of women’s sexual freedom and safety, specifically addressing violence in Asian American communities. SAWCC thanks the Asian Women Giving Circle for their support and funding for this project.

Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.: Oh, Bernice Reading Series at The Astoria Bookshop

I’m excited to read with Deborah Emin and Bill Zavatsky at a great independent bookstore in Queens!

Location: 31-29 31st Street in Astoria, between Broadway at 31st Avenue, a short walk from the Broadway stop on the N/Q train

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.: Cathy Che and April Naoko Heck book party!

Celebrate the happy arrival of summertime and the debut poetry books of two amazing writers and friends, Cathy Che and April Naoko Heck! They will be reading from their collections Split and A Nuclear Family in an event that honors mentorship and community. Readers include Yusef Komunyakaa, Sarah Gambito, Joseph O. Legaspi, Ron Villanueva, Zohra Saed, Monika Sok, and myself! Here’s to community!

Location: NYU Writers House, 58 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10011

Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.: Beyond Tiger Mom: Writing Alternative Stories

Had enough of Tiger Mom? Are you aching to write alternative stories? If so, join the Asian American Arts Alliance and me on May 31! I’m thrilled to be moderating a conversation with a crew of dynamic writers: Michelle Chen, Lakshmi Gandhi, Jennifer Hayashida, April Naoko Heck, Eugene Lim, and Christine Norrie. And best of all – each fabulous writer will lead a craft workshop after the discussion so you can generate new work! Spaces are limited. RSVP at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/beyond-tiger-mom-writing-alternative-stories-tickets-11543630309.

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.: Post-performance panelist after NYC PREMIERE of “RESCUED MEMORIES: NEW YORK STORIES” and “THE ESCAPE”

Lovelies, you know how I love NYC stories. I’m so excited to be a panelist after the Friday performance of Lenora Lee’s oral history art-tellings at the Asia Society in partnership with the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Join us for a powerful evening!

Experience vicariously the lives of early 20th-century Chinese migrant women through multidisciplinary dance pieces including dance, martial arts, film, and soundscapes. Created by Lenora Lee, dancer, choreographer and visiting scholar at NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute. Post-performance discussion will follow both performances.

Location: Asia Society, 725 Park Ave., NY, NY

Sunday, May 4, 2014May 4 Bloom Reading at 5:00 p.m.: Bloom’s First Season Finale Reading at The Lounge at Hudson View Gardens, W. 183 St. & Pinehurst Ave., NY, NY

Gather in a 1924 Tudor Lounge: pleasant as a tea party but with booze and cutting-edge writing. Come uptown to hear memoirist Honor Moore, novelist Evan Fallenberg, poet Sam Turner, musician Guy Strobel and me close out the fabulous Bloom reading series. A $7 donation includes wine & food but no one is turned away for lack of funds!

Friday, May 2, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.: Writing Across Cultures: a reading at Cave Canem, 20 Jay St. Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

Join Miguel Angeles, Aziza Barnes, Amanda Calderon, Paul Hlava, Sarah Key, Benjamin Krusling, Ansley Moon, Saretta Morgan, Timothy Ree, Jenny Xie, and me for Cave Canem’s spring Writing across Cultures Reading from our spectacular workshop led by Eduardo Corral. You won’t want to miss these fabulous poems and sparkling people. Mahogany L. Browne emcees. Free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.: Reading for Literacy: a fundraiser for Friends of African Village Libraries

I’m excited to read with Aziza Barnes, Paul Hlava & Rosamond King to support the Kintegesa Community Library in Uganda. Suggested donation is $10-$30 or what you can offer! The event runs from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Hunter College Faculty Lounge (8th Fl. of West Building) at 68th St. and Lexington Ave., Manhattan. Come for poetry, come to make a difference!

The Kitengesa Community Library is fifteen years old, and now has literacy classes, a youth leadership group, a deaf scholar program, and active microfinance and economic activities group in addition to books.

Directions: The Hunter College Faculty Lounge is on the 8th Floor of the West Building at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, southeast corner. Visitors will need to check in with the security guards, who will be informed of the event, just inside the building entrance. To get to the 8th floor, you will need to take the escalators up to the 3rd and then the elevators to the 8th. We will have someone waiting by the elevators on the 8th to show people round the corner to the lounge.

Thursday, March 27, 2014: New Rivers Press reading at NYU Bookstore

Join Kathryn Levy, author of Reports, Maya Pindyck, author of Friend Among Stones, and me for an evening of diverse poetry from 6-7:30 p.m. at the NYU Bookstore at 726 Broadway, Manhattan.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014: Winter Poetry – Word for Word

Joyous! I’m reading with fellow Kundiman stars, April Naoko Heck & Ocean Vuong at this winter poetry fest presented in partnership with Kundiman and the good folks at the Bryant Park reading series. But no, you don’t have to freeze your tush off for poetry: come warm yourself with our words at Kinokuniya Bookstore at 1073 Avenue of the Americas in NYC. Look forward to seeing you there!


Nov. 7, 2013: Trivia at Basement Bhangra from 7-9 p.m. at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St., NYC)

This isn’t a poetry reading. But it is a gathering for all the anti-nerd nerds and lovers of South Asian cultural knowledge. Yes, that’s you too. I’m hosting the Trivia challenge before DJ Rekha’s signature dance party, Basement Bhangra. Before you show off your dance moves, come show off what you know!

Nov. 1, 2013: Poetry with New Rivers Press Authors from 7-9 p.m. at Poets House (10 River Terrace, NYC)

Celebrate the book launch of Kathryn Levy’s Reports. Maya Pindyck and I will be sharing our poems as part of the celebration too. And there will be snacks and wine to enjoy! 🙂

Terrain TracksOct. 12, 2013: Poetry & Improv for Center-Shift NYC After-Conference: Affirming Transnational Women’s Feminism, Leadership and Sisterhood from 7-9 p.m.

A line-up of performers including me (poetry & improv with XXCalibur: Nancy Kim, Tina Lee & Seema Sabnani) at No Fun Restaurant and Bar at 161 Ludlow St., NYC

Oct. 5, 2013: Kundiman Marathon Poetry Reading from 11 AM – noon at the Asian American Page Turner Food & Books Festival

We help kick off this year’s amazing AAAW literary eats festival! Come for the delectables & poetic delights. Readers are: Michelle Chan Brown, Cathy Linh Che, Evan Chen, Vanessa Huang, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Jee Leong Koh, Sally Wen Mao, Alison Park, Purvi Shah, R.A. Villanueva

YWCA Community Room, YWCA Brooklyn at Atlantic & 3rd Aves.

Sept. 29, 2013: Ghazal Fest at The Bowery Poetry Project from 4-5:30 p.m.

A recitation of ghazals in English and other languages from our favorite authors — including us!

The ghazal — full of rhyme and lyric ambiguity and once derided as an aesthetic irrelevance — lives on in the 21st century. Join us for a roundtable discussion and recitation of ghazal poetry in old and new languages, in translations and original versions. Experience how this form, seemingly constricted and bound by convention, is being put to new purposes and pushed to new heights.

Featuring: Dwaipayan Banerjee, Andrew McCord, Ali Mir, Josna Rege, and Purvi Shah

$10 at the door; 308 Bowery, Bowery Poetry, NY, NY

August 15, 2013: Poetry with New Rivers Press Authors from 7-8:30 p.m. at Unnameable Books

600 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Summer garden reading with my fellow lovely & powerful New Rivers Press authors Kathryn Levy & Maya Pindyck. I’ll be reading first so come and come early! And there will be snacks and wine to enjoy! 🙂

7-24 I Have a Dream Exhibition El Taller Latino Americano

July 24, 2013: I Have a Dream Art Exhibition & Public Reading from 6-8 p.m.

El Taller Latino Americano (2710 Broadway, 3rd Fl. NY, NY)

Along with 23 visual artists, 6 writers (including me!), gather for a special showcase honoring MLK & the present dream.

Kundi GroupJune 15, 2013: 12-3 p.m. Writing Race & Belonging: A Live Monument

Governors Island Writing On It All site-specific poetry project with Kundiman

See a short film of our fabulous collaborative art day and read my article on what the day means for immigration reform.

I get to write on walls!!! Create home & belonging & converse race/traverse migrations with a party of fabulous poets: Sarah Gambito, Hossannah Asuncion, Cathy Che, Ching-In Chen, April Naoko Heck, Joseph O. Legaspi, R.A. Villanueva, and me. Poets who will be participating virtually include James Autio, Nicole Terez Dutton, Vanessa Huang, Iain Haley Pollack, Zohra Saed, Metta Sama, and Javier Zamora.

Join the fun and make yourself at home too!

June 6 reading

June 6, 2013: 6-9 p.m.: Poetry Reading (with Embroidery Circle!)

61 Local at 61 Bergen St. Brooklyn, NY

Join me in an awesome evening of poetry, music, and embroidery (lessons provided!). Featuring readings by Jeanette Anderson, Mahogany Browne, Robert Colpitts, Liz Daly, Megan DiBello, Jessica Elsaesser, Kevin Kinsella, Iviva Olenick, Monte Olenick, Montana Ray, Kris Wettstein, and me with original music by Christina Martin and friends

June 4, 2013: 7-9 p.m. Offering our Names: Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship Reading & Reception

Poets House: 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10 Poets Reading Poets House June 4

One of the first blessings of 2013 is that I, along with 9 other dynamic poets, received a Poets House fellowship to deepen our work & build community. It’s been a true joy! Join me and my fellow inspirations — Mahogany Browne, Jessica Elsaesser, Paul Hlava, Rosamond King, Elsbeth Pancrazi, Montana Ray, Andrew Seguin, Xeňa Stanislavovna Semjonová, and Ocean Vuong — at a finale reading & poetic unearthing. More details here.

JyotiFlyerLet’s start the year with the vision of the world we want.

On Jan. 15, many of you joined me and other community members at a vigil against sexual violence.

Here I am with Sonny Singh helping to shine a light to end sexual violence: join in as you watch!

Read my reflections on moving from vigil to vigilance in ending sexual violence.

You can find a round-up of the vigil with an excerpt of my poem here.

Or find the whole poem and a bonus here.

You can also read my comments – along with those of more U.S. anti-violence advocates – on this rape & murder here.



Date & Time: Saturday, March 24 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: True Reformer Building, Board Room, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC

Advancing Justice with the Poetry of Witness and Community Engagement: Kundiman’s Together We Are New York in Re-Envisioning 9/11
April Naoko Heck, Eugenia Leigh, Zohra Saed, and Purvi Shah

For communities facing the aftermath of 9/11, poetry of witness is vital. In this roundtable, Kundiman poets examine how poetry rooted in Asian American community oral history can further social justice as well as community healing and transformation. The poets will share their work interviewing community members and producing poetry as part of Kundiman’s innovative 9/11 public arts project, Together We Are New York. This roundtable not only provides voices from poets within marginalized communities–Asian American, South Asian, and Muslim–but also demonstrates how poetry can be relevant to community members who may not even read poetry. This session provides a valuable lens for making poetry relevant through investigating how writing can engage history, community needs, and social justice.

twany logo05Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and Re-Vision 9/11

Join me, Marlon Esguerra, April Naoko Heck, Eugenia Leigh, and Zohra Saed on Tuesday, March 13 for excerpts from Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and Re-Vision 9/11. We will be presenting with folks from the Asian American Literary Review who will be speaking their reflections on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Includes a dialogue & reception! What more could you want?

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 13 from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Roosevelt House, 47-49 E. 65th St. (between Park & Madison), Manhattan

Free and open to the public!


Join me, Kamilah Aisha Moon, and Bonnie Rose Marcus for an evening of luminous poetry in celebration of International Women’s Day and the upcoming Split This Rock Poetry Festival! You are in for a triple treat. Come & bring friends and other lovers of poetry: as we read, it is sure to be a full moon!

Date & Time: Saturday, March 10, 7 p.m.
Where: Two Moon Art House & Cafe, 315 4th Ave. between 2nd & 3rd Sts., Brooklyn

Free and open to the public!