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May Third Thursday: Well Versed: Reading & Writing Poetry

5/21/2020 From 8:00 PM CDT to 9:30 PM CDT

May Third Thursday

Our monthly Third Thursday program - free and open to all - features discussions on varying themes related to the craft and business of writing. Each month, we focus on a specific topic of interest to writers and readers, bringing together distinguished panelists for a conversation moderated by a WLT staff member. For now, all of our Third Thursday programs are being held virtually via Zoom. Please RSVP to receive the link.

May Third Thursday

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Free and Open to All


"Well Versed: Reading & Writing Poetry"

In this panel discussion, we'll discuss poetry and its many forms. Our panelists will share poems and poets they've been reading of late, as well as sharing some of their own work with us and discussing their approach to writing right now, whether revisiting works in progress or starting something new. 

In addition, we'll be sharing your poetry recommendations. Please do visit this Google form and tell us which poems and poets you're finding inspiration and comfort from these days. We want to hear from you!


 Usha Akella has authored four books of poetry, one chapbook, and scripted/produced one musical drama. She recently earned an MSt. in Creative Writing from Cambridge  University, UK. Her latest poetry book, The Waiting was published by Sahitya Akademi,  India’s highest Literary authority in 2019 followed by the Mantis Editores, Mexico edition in Spanish translated by Elsa Cross. She was selected as a Creative Ambassador for the City of Austin for 2019 & 2015. 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, India Anthology of English Poets. She is the founder of ‘Matwaala’ the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US (, and co-directs the festival with Pramila Venkateswaran. The festival is seriously dedicated to increasing the visibility of South Asian poets in the mainstream. She is also the founder of the Poetry Caravan in New York and Austin which takes poetry readings to the disadvantaged in women’s shelters, senior homes, and hospitals. Several hundreds of readings have reached these venues via this medium. The City of Austin proclaimed January 7th as Poetry Caravan Day. She has won literary prizes (Nazim Hikmet award, Open Road Review 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 been invited as a keynote speaker to TLAN’s Power of Words conference 2019 and the Turkish Center in Austin. She has written a few quixotic nonfiction prose pieces published in The Statesman and India Currents. Her work ranges from feminist/activist to Spiritual and all things in-between.

Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz is a poet, photographer and punster who landed in Austin 25 years ago by way of Michigan, Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C. During her tenure as an award-winning creative director at GSD&M Advertising, she led national campaigns for brands such as Zales, John Deere, Texas Tourism and Hallmark. She is now the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Blanton Museum of Art. In 2016, she published Haiku Austin, a book of poetry and photography that pays tribute to the Texas capital through witty, 17-syllable poems and vivid pictures. She's currently working on two new titles in her haiku series, Hill Country Haiku and Haiku 'Hooville, a tribute to Charlottesville, Virginia, where she earned a B.A. in English at UVA. In 2003, Carlotta won the O. Henry Pun Off World Championship, much to the delight or chagrin of her two daughters. She is also a fervent Instagrammer -- follow her at @HaikuAustin and @lottapalooza.




Sasha West’s first book, Failure and I Bury the Body (Harper Perennial), was a winner of the National Poetry Series, the Texas Institute of Letters First Book of Poetry Award, and a Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review Online, Agni, Georgia Review, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. She is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at St. Edward’s University, where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award.