University of Akron Press
The poems in Fire Wheel dip in and out of family history and myth; the subjects of its poems are as varied as Helen of Troy, and Audrey, a Fury who makes her rounds at Laundromats, proclaiming the coming Armageddon.
I, too, am manmade, born of rib and / rayon,
and I'll tell you just what / your'e not above.
By turns elegiac and humorous, Fire Wheel's poems also question the nature of family and identity. In
Poem for My Father, Once a Vacuum Cleaner Salesman, Now an Ascetic
a daughter reflects on her father, a man who abandons his family in search of spiritual enlightenment.
In which sage life/ will I find you?
My Suicide Uncles
traces the crossing of immigrants between the old country and the new, and its sometimes devastating results. Whether the poems are about circus sideshow performers, delinquents, or mythic figures, the poems of Fire Wheel try to blend the real with the imagined, to find the place where the two worlds intersect to create an ever-shifting borderland of the self.
Sharmila Voorakkara, a native of New Jersey, earned an M.F.A in creative writing from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. A recipient of a Hall Poetry Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, she is now an assistant professor of English at Ohio University. Fire Wheel is her first book.