Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. "To read GILT is to open windows steamed with bright and exacting language, worlds where a 'cobra is a garland—no, the cobra / is a man's knuckles, a girl's hair clumped / between them.' Shirali's tough-tender debut embroiders lavish Indian weddings and Diwali festivals with the reckonings of a relationship's end. The rich wisdom you glean from the powerful pages of GILT will leave you spent and enchanted." —Aimee Nezhukumatathil"Raena Shirali is a poet who keeps asking what poems can actually do, and these formally inventive lyrics ask for activity, for travel. Her comment on culture, on identity, on justice is her comment on poetry. It is not fixed; and if it is, it shouldn't be. GILT is a book of danger and sarcasm and heart." —Jericho Brown
Raena Shirali is the author of two collections of poetry. Her first book, GILT (YesYes Books, 2017), won the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, and her second, SUMMONINGS (Black Lawrence Press, 2022), won the 2021 Hudson Prize. Winner of a Pushcart Prize & a former Philip Roth Resident at Bucknell University, Shirali is also the recipient of prizes and honors from VIDA, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, & Cosmonauts Avenue. Formerly a Co- Editor-in-Chief of Muzzle Magazine, Shirali now serves as Faculty Advisor for Folio-a literary magazine dedicated to publishing works by undergraduate students at the national level. She holds an MFA in Poetry from The Ohio State University and is an Assistant Professor of English at Holy Family University. The Indian American poet was raised in Charleston, South Carolina, and now lives in Philadelphia.