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US Cover of When I Reach for Your Pulse - Artwork by Pranati Panda

Book cover of New Zealand edition to When I Reach for Your Pulse by Rushi Vyas. The cover image is by Matt Arbuckle and is an abstract painting of wide, blurred stripes of yellow and orange interspersed by jagged stripes of grey and black reminiscient to lines of a heart reading

Aotearoa New Zealand Cover - Artwork by Matt Arbuckle

“In this unflinching debut, Rushi Vyas intricately untangles personal and familial memories as a lyrical mode of mourning. There is no bracing for the impact of a self-inflicted violence that ends a history of domestic violence [....] Relief, dread, and radical compassion lace these unforgettable accounts. At times fierce and tender, these poems reveal how anti-elegy is essential to the elegiac form.”
“Rushi Vyas’s staggering first collection is an effigy formed by that brightness we know will supplant the day’s dark whether we see it happen or not. This lyric is simultaneously interrogation, mourning, joy [....] I’m thrilled to be invited into these poems where "snow stifles the certain world" and the "season of unknowing" feels most like an emancipation gifted within this ’verse, within these ’verses.”
“Vyas shows us in gem-cut lines and poetic turns how poetry fills that space of grieving and transforms these etching-like traumas into memories for examination. As you read, pay close attention to sound and sense and the intimacies to learn how to hold your fragile selves. This is a guidebook for survival: how to endure when violence attempts to swallow you whole. These are poems I now keep on my prayer shelf.” 

Praise for When I Reach for Your Pulse

Ruth Ellen Kocher

-author of godhouse

Diana Khoi Nguyen

-author of Ghost Of

Poems and Publications

Selected Online and Anthologized Poems 

Musical Collaborations

Poems in Album Booklet for Streams by Yuma Uesaka and Marilyn Crispell

"Three Songs to Poems by Rushi Vyas" Song Cycle for Voice, Cello, Bass Clarinet, and Tanpura by composer Andrew Perkins

"How Alive You Are" Song Cycle for Voice and Piano by composer Kenneth Young (In-Progress)

Select Honors for WIRFYP



Finalist / 2019 and 2018 National Poetry Series (US)

Runner-Up / 2020 Center for Book Arts Chapbook Contest 

Semi-Finalist / 2019 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award


Facilitator / Editor / Curriculum Developer

  • Facilitator, Ōtepoti Writers Lab (2022-Present) 

  • Tutor (Teaching Assistant), Advanced Creative Writing, English 320, University of Otago (2022) 

  • Reviews Editor / Poetry Editor, GASHER, (2020-22)

  • Assistant Director, Career Services at New York University (2018-19)

  • Lead Graduate Instructor in the Department of English-Creative Writing at the University of Colorado-Boulder (2017-18)

  • Creative Writing Instructor at the University of Colorado-Boulder (2015-18)

  • Designed Psychology seminar with Dr. Richard Mann, Psychology 121-The Meaning of Life and Death (2014-15)

  • Career Advisor at the University of Michigan (2011-13)

  • Co-Founder and Curriculum Developer at Beyond Bounds (2012-14)


Author Photo 4_2021_edited.jpg

Rushi Vyas is a writer, educator, and current PhD student at Te Whare Wānanga o Ōtākou / University of Otago. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection When I Reach For Your Pulse (Four Way Books, 2023) which was a two-time finalist for the National Poetry Series in the US, and the co-author of the chapbook Between Us, Not Half a Saint, with Rajiv Mohabir. He earned a B.S. from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the University of Colorado-Boulder. He currently serves as Reviews/Interviews Editor for GASHER Journal. Recent poetry has been published in The Spinoff, The Georgia Review, Indiana Review, Pigeon Pages, Landfall (NZ), Redivider, Boulevard Magazine, Tin House, The Offing, Adroit, Waxwing, and elsewhere.

Born in Ohio, Rushi has called Michigan, Colorado, New York home, and is a recent immigrant to Ōtepoti Dunedin, Aotearoa New Zealand with his partner, singer Tessa RomanoRushi has served as a Career Advisor at the University of Michigan, a Curriculum Developer and Co-Founder at an education based start-up, Assistant Director of Career Services at NYU, and Teacher of Creative Writing and Psychology at the University level. 

Upcoming Events

  • Timaru Booksellers, Timaru, 7 October 12pm NZST with Eliana Gray and Liz Breslin 

  • Rhyme & Reason Brewery, Wānaka, 8 October 3:30pm NZST with Liz Breslin and Eliana Gray

  • Octagon Collective Poetry Night, Ōtepoti Dunedin, 11 October 7pm NZST with Sandie Forsyth

  • Dunedin Readers and Writers Festival, Poet Laureate Birthday Brunch, 15 October, with Chris Tse, Liz Breslin, Louise Wallace, Megan Kitching, David Eggleton, and Sophia Wilson 

  • Canterbury Poets' Collective Poetry in Performance, Ōtautahi Christchurch, 26 October 6:30pm NZST with Renee Liang and Gail Ingram

  • Wānaka Writers' Workshop Weekend, 27-28 October, with Liz Breslin, Eliana Gray, Claire Lacey, and Laura Williamson


For Review Copies or Publicity Requests for When I Reach for Your Pulse: (US) (NZ) 

To find me: 

Email: rvyas2 [at] gmail [dot] com

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