Special Episode: Postpartum Psychosis

A panel discussion with Chaya Bhuvaneswar, a psychiatrist and author of White Dancing Elephants, who has treated postpartum patients in-hospital, including at a forensic psych ward for women awaiting trial for harming their children. Sharline Chiang is a writer, editor, book coach, publicist, and journalist who wrote, among many other articles, Don’t Call It Baby Blues, the only existing online magazine article on Asian American survivors of postpartum depression. Kathryn Gahl is the author of The Yellow Toothbrush, a look at anxiety, depression, OCD, and paranoid thinking through the eyes of a mother whose daughter is experiencing a prison sentence after committing filicide. 

Thank you, viewers and listeners, for helping to make Writer Mother Monster a safe space for our guests to share their stories as we come together tonight to illuminate and complicate what we think we know about postpartum psychosis and depression. 


Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a South Asian-American psychiatrist, poet, award-winning fiction writer and essayist. Chaya’s debut short story collection, White Dancing Elephants, was a finalist for the 2019 PEN American/Robert W. Bingham Debut Fiction Prize, winner of the “35 Over 35” Debut authors, and winner of the Dzanc Books Short Story Collection. Her short fiction has also been anthologized in Her Mother’s Ashes 2 (TSAR Press) and Best Small Fictions (Sundress Press). Her work as a psychiatrist has been published in more than 30 peer-reviewed medical journals and has received clinical research funding to develop effective treatments for trauma and its aftermath from the National Institutes for Health/ Institutes for Mental HealthShe has published several textbook chapters on the health and well-being of women and people of color (BIPOC patients) from diverse communities, including in Substance Disorders in Pregnancy, Guide to Bipolar Disorder in Geriatric Populations, and The Massachusetts General Hospital Adult Psychiatry Residency Handbook of Psychiatry. 


Sharline Chiang is a writer, editor, book coach, and publicist originally from New Jersey now based in Berkeley, CA. Her writing has appeared in BuzzFeed, Rumpus, OZY, Mutha, Hyphen, and CAAM. She was book editor/coach for the New York Times bestseller Brown Is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority by Steve Phillips. She is a proud, long-time member of VONA, a nationwide community of writers of color.


Kathryn Gahl, who holds dual degrees in English and nursing, is a brightly lit performer whose use of language reaches out and grabs an audience. Her multi-genre writing, deeply rooted in everyday life, combines a certain human pathos with quick wit and smile-worthy lines. Her works appear in three anthologies, four ekphrastic art shows, and more than 50 journals, with awards from Glimmer Train, Margie, Chautauqua, Rosebud, The Mill, Talking Writing, The Hal Prize for Fiction and Poetry, New Millennium Writings, and Wisconsin People & Ideas. A Pushcart nominee, she served as Writer-in-Residence at Lakeland University. In 2019, The Council of Wisconsin Writers presented her the Lorine Niedecker Poetry Award and in 2021, THE VELOCITY OF LOVE (Water’s Edge Press, 2020) received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Future releases include HARD LIFE, HARD LOVE (Dancing Girl Press, forthcoming 2022), THE YELLOW TOOTHBRUSH (Two Shrews Press, forthcoming 2022), and MESSENGERS OF THE GODS (Cornerstone Press, 2022).

Posted In