Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods Says Writer-Poet Tishani Doshi

“The idea of the body, usually the female body, has always been central to my work. My precise preoccupations might change over time, but I’ve always been interested in how the body connects to the wider world…” says Welsh-Indian poet and writer Tishani Doshi. Her latest work titled, ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’ brings to life the stories of Indian women who have been brutalized and murdered.

She wanted to write a sort of an anthem for Indian women

An excerpt from the poem states, ‘Girls are coming / out of the woods, clearing the ground / to scatter their stories. Even those girls / found naked in ditches and wells, / those forgotten in neglected attics, / and buried in riverbeds like sediments / from a different century’ Doshi worked on this poem after a close friend was raped and murdered and the details of the crime were splashed all over the media. For her, ” Poetry is so wonderfully elastic and open to collaboration. Here the physicality and the poem speak to each other to add another layer.” She wanted to write a sort of an anthem for Indian women and the violence against them where their voices cannot be silenced and the ghosts will never be buried. Although the poem is slow it is not a calm one, it delves into India’s culture of victim-shaming and how rape victims ask for trouble and these stem from a tragic social-conditioning that is rampant in India even today.

She discovered “contemporary American poetry” while studying Economics in the US

Doshi lives with her husband writer Carlo Pizzati is remote Tamil Nadu within the coastal area and has seen the effects of environmental destruction from nature and mankind. Born in Chennai in 1975 to a Gujarati father and a Welsh mother and grew up with a lot of music like Abba, the Beatles, some jazz and blues. She is also a trained dancer and is planning a dancer piece after many years since performing is a strong part of her identity. In 1993, she received a scholarship to study economics in the US and discovered ” contemporary American poetry” during her time in the country. “That changed everything. I had found the thing that I loved and it felt like a duty to follow it through. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had become a banker or something, but then again I have traveled the world with poetry so you never know how things will turn out.”

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