Bharat jiva

By kari edwards


Litmus Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art by Franc Blau
Design by HR Hegnauer
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2009
In Print

2010 Finalist for the LAMBDA Literary Award in Transgender Literature


it is time to detonate the heart, it’s time to

call for a sudden and delicious fractal

indifference to the written line. no more fail

safe dams protecting the audience from

exploding stigmatas, tracer bullets and the

shit of the dead. it’s time for wholesale

suicide and redundancy of never going back.

— kari edwards, from “preface,” Bharat jiva


Bharat — a republic in the Asian sub-continent; second most populous country in the world; achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947.

jiva – living spirit.


Bharat jiva is a project of Venn Diagram Productions, the collaborative intersection between Belladonna* and Litmus Press. This imprint actualizes our mutual commitment to publishing innovative, cross-genre, multicultural, feminist and queer work by writers and artists working beyond and between borders.

kari edwards
kari edwards (December 2, 1954 - December 2, 2006) is the author of several books, including having been blue for charity (BlazeVox, 2006), obedience (Factory School, 2005), iduna Read More

Bharat jiva is a book of poems in which edwards carries the torch, keeps the home fires burning, and transmigrates… [O]ne has the sense that kari edwards has left the house, finally, after having watched and witnessed with exquisite care.

— Catherine Daly, New Pages


Bharat jiva [is] a penultimate comment on the banality and glimmering potential holdout of humanity. Philosophy of philosophy, planetary biological religious cosmic consideration afloat on the tension of gerunds manifesting without always an I, yet I speaks (“did I not say”). 

— Cara Benson, Jacket2


Praise for Bharat jiva

This writing is the New Brave. Few writers have so given in to the entropic forces that disentangle our bodies in the end, while at the same time furiously pooling social content into observable patterns. And there are thousands! Millions! Billions! In biological systems, DNA nucleotides are linked by enzymes in order to make long, chainlike polynucleotides of defined sequence. In writing, the sub-social is linked by signs that make ringlets of undefined sequence. Only we can think to make thought from it. It cannot be conceived of in advance. It cannot be found on the web. No se vende ni se compra. edwards’s radical neo-communitarian impulse is something that’s blood-borne, but not bloody, something that’s keen & observant, but not oculocentric. Like Antonin Artaud, edwards sought to make Writing = Life.

— Rodrigo Toscano

This is one of the most important books for me right now. I find myself rereading passages like songs I NEED to listen to over and over for the messages to be integrated into my life.

— CA Conrad

This text which is not one. That’s how I think of kari edwards’ work. In terms, I mean, of an environment of separations, assertion, and yearning. Bharat jiva constitutes a realm of recognitions, pleas, prayers, rants, indictments. It’s a book-length poem of many registers (a kind of multimodal mosaic yoga, really) where “even doubt” will “build walls faster than regulatory principles.” I won’t try to explain away. I can only point… edwards’ work reminds one of what art is supposed to do: raise questions, and problematize experience.

— Tom Beckett

Radical rishi poet-seer-sage kari edwards’s stunningly powerful and erudite essay-rant-manifesto-”swarm of / messages” calls a nation of docile bodies to account: “no more… protecting the audience from / exploding stigmatas, tracer bullets and the / shit of the dead.” Deploying lyric thrust “to detonate the heart,” blown bodies, categories and lines enact new “delicious fractal” social contracts for reducing suffering in the body public/private and generating “growth in the sky of mind.” Read this book and you’ll never go back.

— Rachael Zolf

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