Veils, Halos & Shackles

“Every poet holds a candle; every poem speaks up against injustice. This book is a protest march.”

— Smita Sahay, Associate Editor

A book that aims not only to inspire, but to make a change.

All over the world, girls and women are victims of violence, oppression, and discrimination. No country, no community, no religious or ethnic group is immune. Too often, women’s voices are stifled, ignored, or trivialized — and as a result, other victims feel alone and unsupported.

A Unique and Important Anthology

As part of the global effort to combat gender-based victimization, Kasva Press is proud to publish Veils, Halos & Shackles, the first-ever anthology of international poetry specifically addressing the oppression and empowerment of women. Veils, Halos & Shackles includes 249 poems by poets from dozens of countries — from Brazil to Bangladesh, from New Zealand to Nigeria. Many of the contributors are among the world's most accomplished living poets.

These diverse, impeccably crafted poems tell us that Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, the US, the UK, and other countries are not so dissimilar where the oppression of women is concerned. Many of the contributors to Veils, Halos & Shackles are survivors of rape and other crimes that affect women and girls every day; others are grandmothers, mothers, daughters, friends, and teachers of victims and survivors. Still others write out of empathy and concern, having been moved deeply by the fate of human beings who just happen to be female.

The first-ever anthology of international poetry specifically addressing the oppression and empowerment of women. The book includes more than 250 extraordinary poems from every continent, contributed by some of the world’s most accomplished living poets.

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Learn more about Veils, Halos & Shackles

Words can kill…. But words can also heal.

The December 2012 rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi moved thousands of people to pour into the streets in protest. Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women was conceived in response to that vicious gang-rape and to the unprecedented public activism for women’s safety that followed it. Editors Charles Adès Fishman and Smita Satay, distinguished poets in their own right, spent three years seeking out the finest poems and testimony to include in this unique anthology.

In editing Veils, Halos & Shackles, our focus has been on finding poems that tell the truth about the violence & oppression women are subjected to in our time — poems that move individuals & that may even have the power to affect governments — poems that ask us to protect & nurture women through intelligent laws & the transformation of cultures.

— Charles Adès Fishman & Smita Sahay

In addition to extraordinary poems, Veils, Halos & Shackles includes testimony by the poets explaining what moved them to address this subject in their work. We at Kasva Press believe that this volume will be an essential and timely contribution to the cause of women’s empowerment and freedom, speaking to a global audience and giving a voice to the millions whose outcries have been silenced.

What they’re saying about Veils, Halos & Shackles

  • Veils, Halos & Shackles: International Poetry on the Oppression and Empowerment of Women, edited by Charles Ades Fishman and Smita Sahay, has just come my way. This massive book swirls around the horrendous rape and death of Nirbhaya Jyoti Singh Pandey. It comes at the time of the Kathua rape and the murder of the eight-year-old Bakherwal girl, and two Jammu and Kashmir ministers speaking up for the brutal accused. Unbelievable!
  • 5

    The poems, with tones ranging from painful to cynical — to occasional dry wit — do not preach, reduce or generalise. They exhibit an eclectic range of experience and thought, each specified by religion, region, time and culturally precise natures of patriarchy, making a subliminal argument that while gender injustice is a global and historical phenomenon, its experience is local and specific.

    Read the full interview here:
    The Hindu
  • 5

     You cannot read this anthology on a holiday or on a relaxed Sunday because each line, each stanza, each poem gets trapped under your skin. The words on the page lodge inside your mind, raising relentless questions of why and how such violence can even occur. But this is an anthology that should be read and reread to spread the word that such violence does not and should not have a place in this world.
    Bitch Media