Deb Akers, Zara Houshmand, and Judy Jensen


Listen to the podcast of the Writing on the Air interview with Deb Akers, Zara Houshmand, and Judy Jensen on Wednesday, February 24, 2010.


Deb Akers

Louisiana native, poet/writer/teacher Deb Akers was raised in Texas and has lived in Austin since the early 70’s.  She received her undergraduate degree from Lamar University and her Master’s from the University of Texas at Austin.  After teaching special needs children in AISD for 30 years, she retired to devote her time and energies to promoting literacy through poetry in all its forms, faces and incarnations.  Over the years, her work has been published in a variety of media, most recently in the Texas Poetry Calendar and Austin Poetry Society’s 60th anniversary edition, Reflections. A long-time volunteer and board member for the Austin International Poetry Festival, she served as the 2008 AIPF chairman and edits their yearly youth poetry anthology, Diverse Youth.   She presently serves as manager & editorial associate of BORDERLANDS:  Texas Poetry Review. Borderlands sponsors a monthly “Community of Poets” venue at Barnes & Noble Sunset Valley of which she is host.

She also hosts the open mic at BookWoman bookstore on second Thursdays of each month.

Zara Houshmand

Zara Houshmand is an Iranian-American writer living in Austin, Texas.  She has worked in theatre and new media, pioneering the development of virtual reality as an art form, and also as an editor of books on dialogue between Buddhism and Western science. She is known for her translations of Persian literature, and is a contributing editor for Words Without Borders. Her most recent book is A Mirror Garden, co-authored with Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (A.A. Knopf, 2007).

Judy Jensen

Judy Jensen’s poems have been published in journals and anthologies such as The Prose Poem: An International Journal and What Will Suffice: Contemporary American Poets on the Art of Poetry. Her poems have placed in the Austin International Poetry Festival, won first place in The Texas Poetry Calendar 2008 Awards and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Two of her poems are on displayat the Blanton Museum of Art as part of the Blanton Poetry Project. She edited Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Issue #33
, Fall/Winter 2009. She is co-founder of Float Press and has letterpressed poetry broadsides for W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Tony Hoagland and more on a 1908 Golding Jobber #6.