Connecting to mother earth through poetry, understanding the true worth of our environment through verse, has become important as the environmental crisis looms large amid all of humanity.
"Singing in the Dark"
Nishi Chawla has co-edited the poetry anthology, "Singing in the Dark," with K.Satchidanandan. It was published by Penguin Random House in October 2020. It includes over a hundred poetic voices from across the globe, reflecting on the nature of our changed world order within the throes of the pandemic, and our place in it.
"From: Immigrant Diaries"
Nishi Chawla's sixth volume of poetry, "From: Immigrant Diaries," was published in Fall 2019 by Red River Press. This is a diverse collection of poems on the lives, experiences, dilemmas, and existential situations of immigrants across the globe. It addresses issues concerning the promise and pitfalls of migration, and the desire to fit in or rebel, in highly personalized poems.
"A Himalayan Poem"
Nishi Chawla’s fifth volume of poetry - a 120 page long poem titled, A Himalayan Poem (2017), is broken up into eight sections. The long poem is her own personal response to the landscape of the mountains even as the poem explores its physical attributes: its rivers, its peaks and glaciers, its flora and its fauna, its cultural traditions, both secular and spiritual, and its people. Section One is devoted to the origins of the Himalayas. Section Two is about the rivers and lakes found in the Himalayas. Section Three is devoted to the peaks and glaciers. Section Four is about the trees and flowers found in the Himalayas, and Section Five is about the birds and animals. Section Six is about environmental degradation. Section Seven is about temples and monasteries found in the Himalayas. The final section is about what the mountains symbolize.
Nishi Chawla's fourth volume of poetry, a 125 page poem on the river Ganges, is divided into several sections, each of which serves to address the various roles and functions of the Ganga, its mythologies and its histories. As a poet, Nishi Chawla has tried to establish a developing relationship with the feminine form of the river even as she reflects on the nature of sacrality. She has done extensive research on the river, and indeed, found it a challenge to tease out a long poem from her readings on the sacred river. The last section of the poem was published in the November - December 2010 edition of the literary journal published by India's academy of Arts and Letters, Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature.
"Confluences I: Indian Women, Indian Goddesses"
In these fifty odd poems, Nishi Chawla has tried to use broad-brush strokes in order to convey her own raw impressions and experiences of Indian women and Indian goddesses. The poems also make us see connections and parallels between the lives and experiences of Indian women and Indian goddesses. In writing poems on this subject, Nishi Chawla hopes to make her own kind of contribution to rethinking mythologies and poeticizing their present relevance.
"Confluences II: Indian Men, Indian Gods"
Nishi Chawla’s third collection of poems titled Indian Men, Indian Gods (2008), is a sequel to her collection of poetry on Indian Women, Indian Goddesses (2007). In these fifty poems, Nishi Chawla attempt to offer a poetic outlook on questions and issues arising from the lives and experiences of Indian men and Indian Gods. The mythological and historical tropes are captured in verse that aims to ponder on, to philosophize and problematize their parallels and connections, if any. And as a poet, she has tried to invest her poetic pen in the ink of social color, to paint in the palette of a social canvas that is large and narrow at the same time.
"Iraq War Memorabilia"
This collection of poems published in 2006 offers several perspectives on various aspects of the war. Her own position is quite non-partisan even as it emerges from the poems.
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