Austin Poets International Leadership

We would like to thank you for taking the time to get to know us.  Every member and festival goer is an important part of the API/AIPF experience and without you this organization wouldn't exist.  Open Board positions are voted on by members at the membership meeting during AIPF every year.  The Board then elects Officers at its next meeting.  A great way to get experience with the organization is to volunteer at the festival and we strongly encourage you to do so. 


Ronald J. Jorgenson, Chairman
Ronald J. Jorgenson (AKA Dr. Charles A. Stone) is a Wisconsinite by birth, Texan by choice, geneticist, archeologist, professor, entrepreneur, rancher, chef, adventurer, poet – in no special order. He has published several books of poetry and three anthologies of poetry. He has been a member of the Board for a decade, most of that time acting as Parliamentarian.


Del Cain, Parliamentarian
Del is a writer of poetry and prose, workshop leader, and contract editor. he has had two nonfiction books of Old West history published and two books of poetry. Songs on the Prairie Wind is available in a new perfect bound edition. Voices of Christmas is a group of character poems telling the traditional story in free verse. He has attended AIPF for 16 of the last 17 years and is a life member of DFW Writers Workshop. He lives and writes in Saginaw, Texas with the love of his life, Isabel.


Barbara Youngblood Carr, Secretary
Author of many (we lost count after 25) books of poetry/prose and short stories about her Native American Cherokee heritage and growing up in Texas, the South and Southwest (9 books in her Ancestor Series partially funded by the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division). Served as an active API Board member for 23 years and is back! Editor of di-vêrsé-city 2009 through 2013 (was Co-Editor for 7 years). 2012 AIPF Festival Director. Editor of the 2012 and 2013 di-vêrsé-city Youth Anthology. Member of many other creative/writing organizations. Editor for A Galaxy of Verse (2004-2010). Owner and Editor of Dreamers Three Press and Little Chicken Fried Books.  National Poet Laureate for the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Washington 2005-2008. Received the first National White Buffalo Native American Poet Laureate Award. Barbara has been published across three continents.


Hal C. Clark, Director
Hal is a retired fourth grade teacher and a graduate of Texas A&M University. He has had poems published in Red River Review, Illya's Honey, and several anthologies. He is an active member of Dallas Poets Community and Austin Poets International. His first collection of poems, All of Me, was published March 2014. He lives with his wife, Anne, in Waxahachie, Texas.


Roger West, Director
Roger West is a poet, songwriter, performer and punk rocker long before and long after it was fashionable. He was born in London, England but now spends most of his time in SW France, writing, recording and performing in French and in English, influenced by those ‘liquid stories’ that ebb and flow across the Mediterranean and wash up on its shores.  He is part of the Urgence Poésie collective, has published four books of poems and contributed to a French anthology of ‘poésie de la marche’.  He has read and performed at previous AIPFs and at festivals in France, Morocco and the UK.  His current place of residence is Gignac, France. 


Ken Jones, Director
Ken Jones has published five full length poetry collections, half a dozen chapbooks, and hundreds of individual poems. He performs his original poetry and music regularly. He has been a finalist for the West Chester Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize nominee, as well as the 2011 Critics Choice Award winner at the Houston Fringe Festival. The University of Texas at Brownsville has opened a permanent archive of his creative work in their library.  


Neil Meili, Director
Neil Meili is a long-time AIPF poetry attendee, past director an featured reader.  A Canadian in love with Austin, Texas, and author of more than 30 collections of verse, including such classics as My Uncle Shot My Dog  and Call Me in the Morning, and more recently Putting Aside the Mask for the Moment.

Joyce Collins, Director
Joyce Collins has been writing poetry since she was 15. In 2003, she started Truthteller Publishing, through which she published her first book of poetry, I Carry It Like Luggage, a collection of profound and humorous poems. In 2004, she published her second book, The Way of Reckoning, which expresses the  emotional, spiritual and psychological struggle related to her sexual abuse and subsequent healing. Joyce is well known for the visual representations of her poems, which she calls visual poems. Joyce used to sell the visual poems, but now gives them as gifts. You can read her books, see her visual poems and listen to over 50 recorded poems on her website, Joyce shares new poems via email. If you would like to have a visual poem or receive emails of new poems, email her at

Brian Docherty, Director
Brian Docherty was born in Glasgow, Scotland, lived in London for many years, and now lives in Sussex. He has had a range of jobs, attended several Universities, and published 6 books of poems, most recently In My Dreams, Again and Only in St. Leonards.

Lynn Wheeler-Brandstetter, AIPF Festival Director
Lynn has a passion for writing poetry and loves to hang out with her family. Lynn also loves to travel and regularly travels to her homeland, Canada. Lynn served on the Board as its Chair-Elect for two years, Chair for six years, Immediate Past Chair for two years and has accepted the appointment of Festival Director.