Puja Shah is a visionary poet who shares her voice through written and spoken word, guided meditations, and teaching.
Born in Queens, New York, to immigrant parents, she defied teachers who questioned her English skills by winning countless poetry and short story awards in her youth.
With over 10 years of nonprofit experience and a long public health career, she has created a campaign aligned with girl trafficking awareness causes for her upcoming debut novel, For My Sister, which launches on October 18th 2022.
We talk about our relationship to our culture as adults and parents to daughters, how there was always an undertone of some traditional expectations growing up, why she wanted to work in public health, and her eye-opening experiences in Uganda and India.
She talks to me about what drove her to write her debut novel, why other South Asians still have a hard time supporting one another, how her online community, Chai Mommas, was built, and our mutual love for Zarna Garg and Alka Joshi.
We also agreed that thepla (Indian spicy roti) is the best food ever. Even on planes.