Raena Shirali

Raena Shirali’s first book, GILT, is forthcoming in 2016 with YesYes Books, and her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Four Way Review, Indiana Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, The Nervous Breakdown, Pleiades, and many more. Her other honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She currently lives in Charleston, SC, where she teaches English at College of Charleston.


daayan looks to the earth by Raena Shirali

                  they say we’re married to dirt, ground-bound & sure to bend. break these bones & call us a miracle, kiss our feet then call us                 backward. sisters, when will we braid our hair despite their songs? i gather seeds from alluvial beds, save tamarind                 peels & […]


the mountains recall the myth by Raena Shirali

                –“Witch hunts are attempts by men to denounce the ritual knowledge of women and link it to evil.” -Witches,             Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Teapot by Soma Chaudhuri     I remember you insisted : the sacred grove virile, no place […]


on projection by Raena Shirali

    supposing i board the plane, remain suspended like some sort of cloud— buoyant, detached—for one   full day, followed by my arrival in a place not of my mother’s dialect, not of my father’s kin, armed with language : patrilineal,   Marang Buru, Flower Feast, nage era. how […]


Diwali: New Moon by Raena Shirali

    The agarbatti plumes its familiar signal: peace, sandalwood, fire alarms shut off. Ganpatis, as always, line my shelves: coal, red, golden. They seem level with me now. They aren’t like other gods, don’t demand change. I turn on every bulb, burn each wick. I know what you’re thinking. […]