AVATARA is a hybrid manuscript of prose and poems that describes an online gaming culture, featuring a temporary Y2K tech worker on an HIB visa from India, an American whiz kid, and various bots, gods, and trolls. The book explores the changing cross-cultural meanings of the concept “avatar” in relationship to both corporal incarnations of deities from plural Hindu religious traditions and the contemporary play of digital identities. The Ardhanarishvara (half-male, half-female) version of the deity Shiva is a presiding figure. Avatara has been a finalist in Carnegie Mellon Press open submissions and New American Press contest. Read "Shiva, Again & Again" from the collection.