Anita Nahal Arya, Ph.D., CDP, is a two-time (2022, 23) Pushcart Prize-nominated Indian American writer, professor, and editor She was a finalist for the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2023. Anita was also a finalist in the 2022 Cats poetry contest at The Ekphrastic Review, and in the 2021 Women’s artist contest also at The Ekphrastic Review. She also received an honorable mention in the 2016 Concretewolf Chapbook contest. Her third poetry book, What’s wrong with us Kali women? (Kelsay Books 2021) was nominated as the best poetry book (2021) for British Ars Notoria by Cyril Dabydeen, celebrated Guyanese Indian Canadian, Ottawa poet laureate emeritus and novelist. The book has also been prescribed as compulsory reading in an elective course on Multicultural Society in the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences at Utrecht University, Netherlands.
Anita has one novel, four books of poetry, one of flash fictions, four for children and five edited anthologies to her credit. Her latest released poetry book is an ekphrastic prose poetry collection, Kisses at the espresso bar (Kelsay Books, 2022) which was a finalist for the 2023 Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize.
Research work has been conducted on Anita Nahal's writings, one being "The Multitudes Within: A Thematic Analysis of Anita Nahal’s Poetry in What’s Wrong with Us Kali Women? and Hey…Spilt milk is Spilt, Nothing Else," by Dikshya Samantarai in Samyukta Journal
Her first novel, drenched thoughts, a poetry-prose genre collaborative book released in July 2023 is also mandatory reading at Utrecht university. Two other books of Anita, her second poetry book, Hey, Spilt Milk Is Spilt Nothing Else (2018) and a collection of flash fictions, Life On The Go-Flash Fictions from New Delhi To America (2018) are also prescribed as additional readings at the same university.
Anita'a poetry has been globally anthologized, quite recently appearing as part of a special anthology, Twenty Contemporary Indian English Poets (2023). released by India's National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi.
One of Anita's poems, “Hold on baby, we'll soon be home” was included as part of a video produced by Doordarshan TV, Kolkota, India. And her poems are also housed at Stanford University’s Digital Humanities initiative, “Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic.” One of Anita’s poem has also been selected to go to the moon! It will join hundreds of contributions by other writers as part of The Polaris Trilogy which will be sent to the moon in the Space X launch in 2024.
Her poems and stories can be found in national and international journals including, Aberration Labyrinth, Better Than Starbucks, aaduna, River Poets Journal, Colere, Setu, Visual-Verse, Spectrum, Organizational Aesthetics Journal, The Dillydoun Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Journal of Expressive Writing, and in a number of Medium publications (The Creative Cafe, Imperfect Words, A Club, The POM, An Idea and House of Haiku), in the UK in Confluence, and FemAsia, in Asia in Lapis Lazuli, International Journal of Multicultural Literature, Mirror of Time, Writers-Editors-Critics Journal, and Borderless, and in Australia in Poetryspective, Alreadyfeminine, and The Burrow.
Besides writing full time, Anita continues to teach, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of the District of Columbia, Washington D.C. Her past appointments include; Adjunct Professor, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington DC; Mellon Fellowship Program Administrator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, DC; Assistant Provost for International Programs, Howard University, Washington DC; Adjunct Professor, George Mason University, VA; Adjunct Professor, Rider University, NJ; Visiting Associate Professor of History at SUNY, Binghamton, New York; Associate Professor of History, Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, India and Assistant Professor of History at Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, India.
Anita's Masters and M.Phil were on history and American history respectively and her Ph.D. was on U.S. foreign policy. Her Fulbright funded post-doc was on African American Women's History. She has taught courses on US History, African American Women's History, South Asian Women's History, International Relations, Modern India, Diversity, Inclusion, Social Marketing and Civic Engagement and Ethics.
Besides her various degrees, Nahal also holds three certifications in diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias training.
During the Covid lockdown she co-hosted a creative online event that lasted several months called Tan Doori Gup Shup.
Anita was the recipient of the first Cultural Diversity Awareness Award (2006), Howard University and also a recipient of the the Unsung Heroes Award (2007), Howard University.
Anita has been a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, SUNY, Binghamton, NY; a Visiting Scholar of Gender, University of California, Berkeley; and a National Endowment for the Humanities summer teacher seminar awardee. Besides books, Anita Nahal has several articles in journals & blogs. She writes periodically on LinkedIn. Anita's data-oriented study on Ethnic and Cultural Diversity at HBCUs was published as a chapter in a book in 2015 (Exploring Issues of Diversity within HBCUs).
Anita is the secretary of the Montgomery Chapter, Maryland Writers Association. She formally served as the editor of the newsletter of the Poetry Society of Virginia. She also holds membership in the Poetry Society of America, Virginia Writers Club and Northern Virginia Writers Club and in a few other creative, educational and community organizations, devoting her time to these causes.
Anita is the daughter of Sahitya Akademi award winning Indian novelist, Chaman Nahal and educationist, Sudarshna Nahal.