Programs & Initiatives

The Poetry Caravan

The Poetry Caravan is a non-profit organization that was founded by Usha Akella in White Plains-Greenburgh, NY. It was formed to offer poetry readings and workshops to disadvantaged audiences in women’s shelters, senior homes, educational institutions and hospitals. In 10 years, it delivered more than 900 free readings in the White Plains-Greenburgh, NY area.

With the help of fellow APS board members Carie Juettner and Barbara Gregg, Usha has now founded the Austin chapter of the Caravan. Since January, the Poetry Caravan of Austin has hosted over a dozen poetry readings by more than twenty local poets in retirement homes in the Austin area, and we’ve received very positive feedback from the community.

We are now seeking poets for our next round of readings. The link to the summer schedule is below. Please read the guidelines and consider signing up for an event. Your generosity and belief in the healing power of poetry will help make the Austin chapter a success.

Current Venues

From May to August, we will be hosting readings at:

* Westminster Manor – 4100 Jackson Avenue, Austin 78731

* Brookdale at Beckett Meadows – 7709 Beckett Road, Austin, TX 78749

* AGE of Central TX – 3710 Cedar St., Austin, TX 78705

* SafePlace – 1515 Grove Blvd Austin, TX 78741

[Directions and parking details are listed on the schedule.]

How to Sign Up

To participate in the Poetry Caravan read the guidelines below, then CLICK HERE to sign up for a reading.

Guidelines for Poets

Before the Event:

* To sign up for a reading, enter your first and last name and your email address in any unfilled participant slot on our SCHEDULE.
* We must have your email in order to contact you with information about the event or changes to the schedule.
* After you sign up, an organizer will email you asking for your phone number. It is needed in case of emergencies and will be kept private.
* Consider your listeners when choosing poems. You may read your own work or poems by other poets or a combination of the two.
* Some of our audiences enjoy hearing classics. Rhyming poems and shorter verses are often a big hit.
* Feel free to email the other poets scheduled to read if you would like to coordinate with them.
* Some poets bring copies of their poems to hand out. These are appreciated by some audience members but not mandatory.
* If you have any questions or problems with the sign-up process, please call or email Usha Akella ( or Carie Juettner (

During the Event:

* Each poet will read for 15-20 minutes. If only two poets sign up, each will read for 25-30 minutes.
* You may fill the hour or leave time for questions, discussion, or audience participation.
* Begin by introducing yourself. The first poet should also say a few words about the Poetry Caravan.
* Read slowly and loudly.
* Feel free to take pictures. However, you may not post photos of audience members on any public forum without permission from the venue.
* Selling books or merchandise at Poetry Caravan events is not permitted.

After the Event:

* Tell us about your experience! Please post comments and approved photos on our Facebook Page.
* If you’re not on Facebook, you can email your comments and photos to and Carie will post them for you.
* We hope you enjoyed participating! Please consider reading for the Poetry Caravan again!

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If you have any questions, e-mail

Want more information and regular updates? Follow the Poetry Caravan’s Facebook Page.