University Workshops and Interdisciplinary Collaborations 

​Interdisciplinary and Mindfulness Creative Writing Workshops 

Mindfulness Courses Lab, University of Michigan

With Professor Ramaswamy Mahalingam, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Teaching poetry workshops and approaches to mindfulness and creative writing to undergraduate classes as well as in graduate seminars since 2014.  For one of professor Mahalingam's seminars we asked the graduates to write their abstracts as poems, and we received some excellent poems. The best work was given a prize. One year a student who wrote a rap version of his abstract won the prize. Workshops are ongoing.

Barger Leadership Institute, University of Michigan

January 23, 2019. First poetry workshop with the students of the Mindful Leader Program, Barger Leadership Institute.One of the student's wrote several poems and created a booklet for her final presentation and graduation from the program. 

Curated by Professor Mahalingam. 
Read the 2019 article in Michigan Daily here:
This is an ongoing program where I present every year. This year's workshop was on February 11, 2020.

Professor Mahalingam is a professor of psychology, the Director of Barger Leadership Institute, and the Director of the Mindfulness Connections Lab at the University of Michigan. More at:

Poetry/Creative Writing Workshop for Professor Colleen Seifert, University of Michigan

Annually, I present a poetry workshop for Professor Seifert's Creative Thinking Class in the Psychology Department.

Brownness Project 

A collaboration with professors Aswin Punathambekar, Osman, and Ram Mahalingam, and students from Michigan University and and alum. Workshops and discussions on identity, racism and inter-cultural relations. Upcoming Event: Art iInstallation, panel discussion and reception on April 3, 1-3 pm, Hatcher Graduate Library

Department of Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville

The Associate Dean of Undergraduate Student Affairs, Angela S. Lindner, invited me to design and teach a series of creative writing workshops for pre-engineering and engineering students (STEPUP Program Creative B and EFT), which culminated in a public performance and reading at the Black Box Theater at UFL, Gainesville, on August 5 & 6, 2015.

Video of STEPUP student performance on Aug 6

Professor Lindner is Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. 

More information at:



​India: A Light Within, and Related Projects

A collaborative project involving photography, Indian classical dance, prose and poetry held at the Duderstadt Gallery at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from 27th October to 19th November 2009. exhibition has photographs of Kolkata, India, and images of dance mudras from Odissi, a style of Indian classical dance peformed by Sreyashi Dey; prose pieces and poems; and a poetry reading. Versions of it have been presented in several venues in Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia in 2010-12. It is expected to tour other cities in the US in future.

The book version India: A Light Within, is a collection of images by Charlee Brodsky, professor of photograpy at Carnegie Mellon University, and writing by Neem Avashia and Zilka Joseph is available at:

More information about this project and collaborators:



 (Photographs used with the permission of Charlee Brodsky)

India: A Light Within, Exhibitions and/or Performances and Readings

Duderstadt Gallery, University of Michigan; Copper Colored Mountain Arts (CMARTS), Ann Arbor; American Jewish Museum and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh; St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia.

Wisdom of the Lotus

Poem by Zilka Joseph, Photographs and Handmade Books by Charlee Brodsky

Angika: Sculpture and the Dancing Body

An Odissi dance performance by Sreyahsi Dey, with a script written by Zilka Joseph and narrated by professor/ actor/ director Martin Walsh, Residential College, University of Michigan. The script told the story of each piece performed by the dancer and drew on Hindu mythology, the Vedas, the history of dance, and folklore. Performed at UMMA, University of Michigan.

​​Asian American Women Artists Association Exhibitions and Events, San Francisco

undercurrents & the quest for space

Exhibition and Book
​C​heers to Muses​​

​My Vision, Your Voice: An Artistic Duet, 2012 & 2013

Exhibition and Book Presented and Sponsored by the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center Therapeutic and Recreation Program

Poetry Editor: Suzanne Scarfone

An interdisciplinary collaboration between ten published poets, two professional photographers, and eleven adult photographers with developmental disabilities.The photographers received technical assistance from their instructors but the images they captured were their own. Poets chose images that inspired them and provided voice to the photographers visualizations.

--excerpt from the Foreword by Patricia Sims Sunisloe, Project Development Director, MORC Inc.

Readings and exhibitions were held at the Scarab Club, and the books of photographs and poems were published. Photographs and books were available for sale.

Read more about MORC and order books:

Please consider donating to MORC for the great work they do!

A PBS video about their artists:


Free workshops offered at the Center for the Education of Women and at domestic violence shelters

Birmingham Bloomfield Hills Arts Center Art and Poetry Project

The BBAC invited me to join other Michigan poets to write poems inspired by photographs and paintings by Michigan artists and photographers. During the summer of 2004, an exhibition of artwork and poems was on display at the gallery, and the BBAC hosted a reading by the poets who participated in the project.

Zilka Joseph