Aryana Jharia is an Eastern Michigan University junior studying secondary education and English. Jharia is a self-published poet, astrologer and tarot reader, and educator. Jharia is currently working with Reha, a Vedic astrology app, Aspiring Educators of Michigan, Advocates for Youth’s Emergency Contraceptive Collective, and Mission Menstruation to bring about positive change in the community.
“I’m doing work at the local, state, and national levels,” Jharia said.
Jharia aims to make education more adaptable and accessible. Jharia’s poetry shares similar goals of being readable by avoiding big words, and impactful, by representing minority voices.
Jharia’s poetry focuses on identity, personal experiences, human contradictions, and more. As a queer woman of color and child of Indian immigrants, her poetry offers readers a look into her lived reality.
“If someone handed me a children’s book with somebody who looked like me, or had a voice like me, or related to me, I would’ve been able to see me,” Jharia said. “That is why I write.”
Jharia’s second self-published poetry book “The Meadow & The Stars” was released in 2023. It is a reversible book that can be read in any order. “The Meadow” focuses on attachment, whereas “The Stars” focuses on experience. There is also a middle section of the book that Jharia refers to as “The Atmosphere.” This book varies from her first poetry book “Everything I Wish I Said,” as Jharia, now 20, feels more confident and authentic in her words.
“I was going through this soul change and not wanting to be a people pleaser anymore so I envisioned this book about moving forward because I was always focused on growing but I realize now I have to change and so that’s what this book is about,” Jharia said.
Jharia’s creative process typically begins with eureka moments as well as the use of keywords to prompt her. For “The Meadow & The Stars,” the keywords were quirky and magical. After compiling the poetry and visuals, Jharia then works with a team of unique editors to develop the final product.
The way Jharia formatted “The Meadow & The Stars” was intentional. By spreading poems across multiple pages and utilizing blank space, Jharia can convey attachment.
“That’s what it feels like to hold onto something for longer than you should like that’s so unnecessary,” Jharia said.
In the past, Jharia focused on her words and didn’t see herself as a visual artist, however, her visual art is now present in “The Meadow & The Stars.” For “The Meadow” she used watercolor and experimented with color, for “The Stars” she used rainbow scratch.
Jharia’s next poetry book titled “Inside Jokes” is in progress and will focus on the keywords: humor and seriousness as “We’re all human contradictions.”