VIRAHA is a collection birthed out of a space of enduring loneliness, a celebration for the hope of life, that never stays dead for long. These poems repurpose and invent mythologies, situating human fragility and resilience as part of the natural world: every broken heart, lost love, failed dream is as ordinary and bewildering as the sunrise, as a bird in the sky. This is a book about the hard work of continuing.
"VIRAHA is a collection dripping with longing. These poems show a girl can remake herself again and again through desire. And through writing from a place deep within the self, a shadowy “cave” that is teeming with myths. Yena writes, ‘The cave–the dark lonely space that ate into me.’ These poems feast. They swing between a girl who is learning through crushes, summer nights, and mythos, and a girl who knows." —Lora Mathis, poet
"A truly remarkable book, one I already know I will return to many times. In turns sharp and wounded, angry and fragile, every poem managed to surprise me. Yena Sharma Purmasir's voice in this collection is inspired." —Clementine von Radics, author of Mouthful of Forevers
"VIRAHA tells a story of endurance and spotlights the hunger needed to keep hope. This collection brilliantly cautions us on the truths of grief, the realities of womanhood, and the loss of self, while not sugarcoating the grit needed to persist. It’s a book to be remembered." —Ari B. Cofer, author of Paper Girl
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
Yena Sharma Purmasir is a poet and essayist from New York City. She was the Queens Teen Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. She is the author of Until I Learned What It Meant (Where Are You Press, 2013) and When I'm Not There (self-published, 2016), as well as co-author of [Dis]Connected Volume 1: Poems & Stories of Connection and Otherwise (Central Avenue Publishing, 2018). A Best of Net nominee, her work has also appeared in Mask Magazine, the Rising Phoenix Review, and Thought Catalog. Purmasir earned a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she focused on South Asian religious traditions. She resides in Boston.