Second Thursday Open Mic Poetry featuring Usha Akella & Varsha Saraiya-Shah: September 8
Usha Akella has authored 4 books, scripted and produced one musical. Her most recent book *The Rosary of Latitudes* is published by Transcendental Zero Press with a foreword by Keki Daruwalla. She has won a few poetry awards such as the Open Road Review Poetry Prize, Egan Memorial Contest Prize, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Prize and the Wine Poem Award at Struga Poetry Evenings. She was selected as a creative ambassador for Austin in 2014-15. She has been invited to many international poetry festivals in Colombia, Macedonia, Nicaragua, Mexico, India, Turkey, Slovakia, Slovenia etc. In August 2015, she organized the first South Asian Poetry Fest "MATWAALA."
She is the founder of the Poetry Caravan in Westchester County, NY and
Austin. The caravan provides free readings at senior homes, women shelters and hospitals. The NY chapter has offered more than a 1000 free readings and the city of Austin proclaimed January 7th as Poetry Caravan Day. She will pursue a Masters in Creative Writing at Cambridge University, UK in the Fall of 2016.
Varsha Saraiya-Shah lives and works in Houston, Texas. Her poetry chapbook, Voices, will be forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in various journals including Asian Cha, Borderlands, Convergence, Mutabilis Press, Right Hand Pointing, and University of Texas Press. Her forthcoming book will be published by BorderSenses. It is inspired and informed by humans, literature, visual and performing arts, gardening, travels, as well as nature and an untiring eye for the small wonders of life. She has studied poetry in Houston, Sarah Lawrence College in New York, Squaw Valley Community of Writers in California, Reed College in Oregon, and San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. She was a poet-in-residence at Noepe Literary Center, Martha's Vineyard, MA in October, 2015. She currently serves on the Mutabilis Press Board.
A Round Robin style Open Mic follows the feature. Bring poems to share!