Sparrows and Dust by Zilka Joseph / signed
“The poems in Zilka Joseph’s Sparrows and Dust are separate skies—each a wrought song woven with a world of birds: mynah, grackle, swan, sparrow, hoopoe, heron, kingfisher, and dozens of others.From Mumbai and Kolkata in her native India to the yard outside her house in Michigan, this bird-crossed world is made smaller and more beautiful, as Joseph watches the skies and the breadth of her blue heart for the migration of the spirits of her parents and other ancestors. “Leave me a feather to dream on, a map to follow…” one poem sings. As I read and listened to these soaring, gorgeous poems, I felt the dust shake loose; I found myself more open, more buoyant, and more alive.”—Robert Fanning, author of Severance, Our Sudden Museum, American Prophet and The Seed Thieves.
“Song and flight, which all poets aspire to achieve, are evident here, there, and everywhere, in this collection of Zilka Joseph’s poems. Her language sings. Between bird-beat and heart-beat, it’s an instrument exquisitely attuned to her love of depths and flitting surfaces. In poem after poem, we return with Zilka to who we are—a gift, a mystery, a wound seeking salve, light-bearers, dipping and swerving through passages of open air, sky and soul, in and out of memory and loss, anxiety and joy, arrival and parting, to settle and nest in the now.”—Ralph Nazareth is the author of Ferrying Secrets; Between Us the Long Road; & Dropping Death. He is the Managing Editor of Yuganta Press and the President of GraceWorks, Inc., an international nonprofit.
Signed Copies are available now.
Zilka Joseph was awarded a Zell Fellowship (Zell MFA program) and the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship (Centre for the Education of Women) from the University of Michigan. She was nominated twice for a Pushcart, and for a Best of the Net, has won many honors, participated in literary festivals and readings, and has been featured on several radio programs and online interviews. Her work has appeared in POETRY, Poetry Daily, The Writers’ Chronicle, Frontier Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Asia Literary Review, Cha, Poetry at Sangam, Pratik, The Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Review Americana, Gastronomica, and in anthologies such as Cheers To Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, Uncommon Core, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music, Matwaala Anthology of Poets from South Asia (which she co-edited), 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium and The Kali Project. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America Beyond Borders and a Pushcart award respectively. Sharp Blue Search of Flame, her book of poems published by Wayne State University Press was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book Award. Her third chapbook Sparrows and Dust was published in April, 2021. She teaches creative writing workshops, and is a freelance editor and manuscript advisor. She is dedicated to coaching, lifting up and encouraging every writer she works with, and creating a unique community of writers/students wherever she lives and teaches.