Usha Akella (India) has authored four books of poetry, one chapbook, and scripted/produced one musical drama. Her latest poetry book is due from Sahitya Akademi, India’s highest literary authority. She recently earned an 2018 MSt. in Creative Writing at Cambridge University, UK. She read with a group of eminent South Asian Diaspora poets at the House of Lords in June 2016. Her work has been included in the Harper Collins Anthology of Indian English Poets.
She was selected as a Creative Ambassador for the City of Austin for 2015 & 2019. She has been published in numerous literary journals, and has been invited to prestigious international poetry festivals in Romania, Canada, Slovakia, Nicaragua, Colombia, Slovenia, India, etc. She is the founder of “Matwaala”, the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US. She has won literary prizes (Nazim Hikmet award, Open Road Review Poetry Prize and Egan Memorial Prize and earned finalist status in a few US based contests), and enjoys interviewing artists, scholars and poets for reputed magazines. She has written a few quixotic nonfiction prose pieces published in The Statesman and India Currents.
She is the founder of the Poetry Caravan in New York and Austin which takes poetry readings to the disadvantaged in women’s shelters, senior homes, hospitals. Several hundreds of readings have reached these venues via this medium. The City of Austin proclaimed January 7th as Poetry Caravan Day.