Padma Venkatraman began writing poetry at an early age. Poetry has been Dr. Venkatraman’s first love and she is an avid reader of poetry as well. Most significantly, her poems Undone and Whenever You See A Tree, were published in Poetry Magazine, one of the premier poetry journals in the English language, published by the Poetry Foundation.
Her earliest poem ever to be published in a literary journal appeared in the inaugural issue of the Delhi London Poetry Quarterly when she was still a child. Since then, her poems have appeared in other literary journals, such as Mobius, Parnassus etc. The Wait, published in Snowy Egret, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
She also enjoys writing poems for young readers and has contributed to several anthologies, such as Pet Crazy (2017), Hop To It (2020) and Things We Do (2020) edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong; A World of Poems published by DK; Rhyme and Rhythm: Poets For Student Athletes edited by Sarah J Donovan, and I Sing: The Body edited by Rene J Saldana Jr.
Her essay on novels in verse appeared on Steve Bickmore’s YA Wednesday blog. In addition, she has shared poems along with writing tips and activities for writers and teachers, which can be accessed online at Renee M. LaTulippe’s No Water River blog, and on Sarah J Donovan’s Ethical ELA #verselove series. Her poem on the importance of whitespace in poetry has also been used in classrooms.
Padma Venkatraman is the founder of the Diverse Verse initiative. #DiverseVerse brought together her lifelong love of poetry with her dedication to uplifting and amplifying poets and authors of color and other writers from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities.
Padma Venkatraman is also the author of the groundbreaking ALA Notable book, A TIME TO DANCE (Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Random House), considered the first South Asian novel in verse for young people in English.
She has a forthcoming middle grade novel-in-verse from Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Random House). Short-stories-in-verse written by Padma Venkatraman have also been included in Calling The Moon edited by Yamile Saied Mendez, Aida Salazar and Melanie Cordova (Candlewick) and Love edited by Kip Wilson (Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Random House).