Zilka Joseph

​​​Zilka Joseph

                                has been nominated twice for a Pushcart prize and recently for a Best of the Net award. Her word has appeared (or is forthcoming) in POETRY, Poetry Daily, Mantis, Kenyon Review Online, Michigan Quarterly Review, Asia Literary Review, Frontier Poetry, CHA, COG Literary Journal, Quiddity, Review Americana, Gastronomica, Cutthroat, Rattle, The MacGuffin,The Paterson Literary Review, pacificREVIEW, Third Wednesday, Cheers To Muses: An Anthology of Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, and in anthologies such as RESPECT: An Anthology of Detroit Music Poetry, 101 Jewish Poems for the Third Millennium, and  Uncommon Core: Poems for Living and Learning, a Neutral Zone Anthology. She has won several honors including the Elsie Choy Lee Scholarship from the Center for Education of Women, a Zell Fellowship and the Michael S. Gutterman prize in poetry from the University of Michigan.  

Her first chapbook Lands I Live In (Mayapple Press, 2007) was nominated for a PEN America Beyond Margins award, and her second chapbook What Dread (2011) which was a semi finalist in Finishing Line Press’ New Women’s Voices contest, was nominated for a Pushcart. Her first full-length collection of poems Sharp Blue Search of Flame was published by Wayne State University Press (2016) and was a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book Awards. Her new chapbook Sparrows and Dust is forthcoming in fall 2020.

She has collaborated with artists on interdisciplinary projects which have culminated in exhibitions, performances, readings at the University of Michigan and in art galleries and cultural centers in several cities in the US, and her work was published along with her collaborators' work in two books-- India: A Light Within and Wisdom of the Lotus. In addition, her work had been selected several times by the jurors of Asian American Woman Writers Artists Association (San Francisco, CA) for curated art and culture exhibitions and for their anthology.  Every year, she is invited to  participate in the Rasa Festival in Ann Arbor 

The University of Michigan WCBN Radio’s Living Writers Series recorded two interviews with her, and her work has appeared in The Living Room, Michigan Radio/NPR, an episode about diaspora, and Art in the Air. She read at the Author's Forum event at the University of Michigan (a video recording of the event is available). A stunning review of her new book was aired on Michigan Public Radio's Stateside ​in August 2017. Her book was also received critical attention in Wasafiri and World Literature Today. Recently she was featured in the Ann Arbor Observer for her achievements, her dedication to poetry, and her work in the community. She reads in Ann Arbor and in other cities in the US, and in Kolkata. She participates in the Matwaala South Asian Diaspora Poetry Festival in NYC, and in the Rasa Festival in Ann Arbor that showcases Ann Arbor/Michigan artists and performers, every year. She was invited to read for the International Neighbors Gala in Ann Arbor in January 2019, and at Stony Brook University, NY, as part of the 2020 Matwaala Festival. (A recording will posted in fall 2020 as the event was cancelled due to Covid).

Educated in Kolkata, India, her teaching experience covers higher education to elementary levels, and a wide range of populations--undergraduate, senior citizens, immigrant, international and diverse groups. She has taught and/or worked at the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and Oakland Community College, been a Writer in Residence at InsideOut Detroit, a teacher at the Roeper School, an ESL instructor at the Utica Adult Education Center in Michigan, a volunteer instructor at the Indo American Center and Nettelhorst School in Chicago, and a high school English teacher at St. James' School for Boys, Kolkata. She has a BA in English and a BEd (a post-graduate teaching degree), from the University of Calcutta, India, an MA in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, and an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Recently her new manuscript was among the five finalists for the Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize from Michigan State University. The judge was Mark Doty. 

Currently, she teaches workshops in Ann Arbor and Metro-Detroit. She offers a workshop annually at the Psychology department and the Barger Leadership Institute at U-M. She is also a manuscript coach, freelance editor, and a mentor to writers in the Ann Arbor community.



Some Online Poems and Interviews, see Links below