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We're pleased to welcome Zilka Joseph to our At Home with Literati Series in support of In Our Beautiful Bones. She'll be joined by readers Nawaaz Ahmed and Nancy Naomi Carlson.
Click here to join the webinar event on 10/6. No pre-registration required!
Note: we are now hosting on Zoom webinars. You will be prompted to enter a first name and email upon joining. You may then see a window reading "waiting for host to start webinar," but sit tight--you will be admitted as soon as we begin broadcasting live! You will be able to submit questions using the Q&A feature.
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About the book: In Our Beautiful Bones traces various stages in the poet's journey as an immigrant from India who makes a new life in the US, and her encounters with racism and otherness. In it she explores her Bene Israel roots and ancestors, her life in Kolkata, the influences of British rule and a missionary education, her growing knowledge of what racism and marginalization means, how Indians and Indian culture is perceived and represented. While delving unflinchingly into the violence and global impact of colonialism, the weaponization of the English Language, the evils of tyranny and White Supremacy, and the struggles of oppressed peoples everywhere, she creates powerful collages from mythology, folklore, fairy tales, Scripture, world history and culture, literature, music, food, and current events. Traditional and experimental forms, sensory riches, wit and wordplay, and an unwavering and clear voice make this book a compelling read.
These poems expose prejudice on an international as well as a personal level, and lead the reader to face harsh truths--insults, insensitivity, injustice, ignorance, discrimination, subtle and deliberate aggressions that immigrants, people of color, and the oppressed face daily, and wrestles with her own complex emotions, the current threats to Democracy both in the US--her adopted home, and her native India, her love for both countries. In Our Beautiful Bones is a multi-layered, sharply ironic and sometimes pathos-filled critique of the world, and at the same time it is visionary and a triumph of the human spirit.
Zilka Joseph's work has appeared in Poetry, Poetry Daily, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Asia Literary Review, and in RESPECT: An Anthology of Detroit Music Poetry, 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium, and The Kali Project. Her poems and chapbooks have been nominated for the Pushcart, PEN America, and Best of the Net prizes. Sharp Blue Search of Flame, her first full-length book of poems, was a Foreword INDIES Book Award finalist. In Our Beautiful Bones, her new book, has been nominated for several awards. Her work has been influenced by Eastern and Western cultures and her Indian and Bene Israel roots. She teaches creative writing workshops in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is an editor, manuscript coach, and a mentor to writers in her community.