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About the Speaker
The artistic entrepreneur known as Marlena “Zen Ase” Johns has lived an adventurous life, raising twin sons, and teaching high school for twenty-six years in the inner city. She was Teacher of the Year for AHS in 2011-2012 and 2017-2018, a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction and a University of Chicago Distinguished Educator. One of her plays was performed at a local community center. She won a prose contest sponsored by the University of Houston. She’s performed poetry more times than she can count at over 50 venues, hosted, and organized over 50 live music, comedy and poetry shows, Laughz and Lyrics, to both handfuls of adoring fans and wall to wall, standing room only crowds.
She’s the Houston organizer for 100,000 Poets for Change, and she’s been honored with a Congressional Award for activism. Her poetry and prose can be found in over a dozen anthologies and magazines including, “ Let’s Talk about Being Human,” “Selfhood,” “Restless,” “Five 2 One magazine”, “Caravel”, and “Switchback”. She has journaled since fifth grade and recently decided to include what she’s learned from motivating students to help teens and adults accelerate mindset changes and replace limitations with possibilities. Zennurgize Your Life is that product, and Volume 1- A concepts is the first in the series. She then went on to write a poetry/prose memoir which has been on the Amazon best seller’s list in poetry for 10 months. Most recently, she’s released a children’s book, You are Wanted and Loved Because You’re You.