In her second full-length poetry collection, Miracle Marks, activist Purvi Shah charts women’s status through pointed explorations of Hindu iconography and philosophy and powerful critiques of American racism. In these searing, revelatory poems, Shah reminds us that surviving birth as an infant girl and living as a woman is miraculous—as such, every girl is a miracle mark. And because education is often denied to girls, writing by women is a miracle.
In Miracle Marks, Shah probes belonging, devotion, and social inequity, delving into what it means to be a woman, and what it means to be. Through sound energy and white space, these poems chart multiple realities, including the miracles of women’s labors and survivals. This collection spurs dialogue across audiences and communities and lights a way for brown girls and women who relish in spirit, intellect, politics, and justice.
PURVI SHAH inspires change as a nonprofit consultant and writer. During the tenth anniversary of 9/11, she directed Together We Are New York, a community-based poetry project to highlight Asian American voices and experiences. Her first poetry collection, Terrain Tracks, won the Many Voices Project prize, and her chaplet, Dark Lip of the Beloved: Sound Your Fiery God-Praise, explores women and being. She currently serves as a board member of The Poetry Project in New York. Her favorite art practices are her sparkly eyeshadow and raucous laughter.
“Beautifully and evocatively written, with themes of femininity, love, longing, and playfulness woven throughout the entire collection. Also quite timely, given the #MeToo movement and Shah’s call to celebrate feminine strength. Haunting and vivid.” —Anita Anantharam, author of Bodies That Remember: Women’s Indigenous Knowledge and Cosmopolitanism in South Asian Poetry
“Her newest book, Miracle Marks, continues Purvi Shah’s critique and celebration of her home culture and as an immigrant focusing on gender, spirituality, sexuality. The quotidian and the transformative meet in Shah’s work as she seeks to bring feminine power, feminisms to bear in a world so closed to women’s power, to the miraculous. Purvi Shah’s language invents something important — a woman’s voice speaking her own power.” —Patricia Spears Jones, author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems
“Miracle Marks is an open blaze of music and reincarnation. In Miracle Marks, we travel. Stations both mortal and immortal propel us through a collective time, a troubled and troubling now in which the spiritual and the sensual share one marked body.” —Sun Yung Shin, author of Unbearable Splendor
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