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Pabst Endowed Fund Atlantic Center for the Arts

In 2007, The Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts established an Endowment for Master Writers at Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Writers chosen as "Master Writers" are vetted and selected with specific criteria: a body of work demonstrating excellence and a
willingness to mentor and guide fellow writers.

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2009 Pabst Endowed Chairs for Master Writers

  Bob Holman (Residency #132: Feb 16 - March 8)

Bob Holman is best known as a free-wheeling impresario of new poetry, appearing on MTV's "Spoken Word Unplugged," HBO's Def Poetry Jam, and producing the award-winning PBS series "The United States of Poetry." He created the seminal poetry label, Mouth Almighty/Mercury, administered St Mark's Poetry Project and Nuyorican Poets Café. He's dogged by the moniker "Dean of the Scene" (Seventeen) and is a member of the "Poetry Pantheon" (NY Times) for his part in popularizing the raucous, populist poetry slams. He has written eight books, most recently A Couple of Ways of Doing Something (2004), a collaboration with Chuck Close published by Aperture, teaches at NYU and Columbia, has a new CD ("The Awesome Whatever"/Bowery Books) and is the Proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. He's made recent trips to the Kolkata Book Fair, Banff Arts Centre, the Costa Rican International Poetry Festival, and the Naropa Summer Writing Program. His new project is a documentary on the Poetry of Endangered Languages, and another on Ginsberg in India ( which is to say that his take is wide-open, engaged, and moves all directions simultaneously as the Poetic Economy ballets the Horrific Triumph of Capitalism. (

Brenda Hillman (Residency #133: May 18 – June 7)

Brenda Hillman has published seven collections of poetry: White Dress (1985), Fortress (1989), Death Tractates (1992), Bright Existence (1993), Loose Sugar (1997), Cascadia (2001), and Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005), all from Wesleyan University Press, and three chapbooks: Coffee, 3 A.M. (Penumbra Press, 1982), Autumn Sojourn (Em Press, 1995), and The Firecage (a+bend press, 2000). She has edited an edition of Emily Dickinson's poetry for Shambhala Publications, and, with Patricia Dienstfrey, co-edited The Grand Permisson: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (2003).

Among the awards Hillman has received are the 2005 William Carlos Williams Prize for poetry, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Hillman is the Olivia Filippi Professor of Poetry at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California, where she teaches in the undergraduate and graduate programs. She is also a member of the permanent faculties of Napa Valley Writers' Conference and of Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Hillman is also involved in non-violent activism as a member of the Code Pink Working Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married to poet Robert Hass.

Hillman has been increasingly interested in the innovative and experimental lyric traditions, particularly in how the Romantic concepts of nature and spirit have manifested in contemporary poetry. In her essay entitled "Split, Spark, and Space," Hillman writes about the emergence of different kinds of lyric impulses in her writing: "The sense of a single 'voice' in poetry grew to include polyphonies, oddly collective dictations, and the process of writing itself. This happened in part because of a rediscovered interest in esoteric western tradition and in part because I came to a community of women who were writing in exploratory forms. …A poetic method which had heretofore been based on waiting for insight suddenly had to accommodate process, and indeterminate physics, a philosophy of detached looking."

  Antonya Nelson (Residency #135; October 12 – November 1)

Antonya Nelson is the author of six short story collections, including Nothing Right (Bloomsbury, 2009), and three novels (Talking in Bed, Nobody’s Girl, and Living to Tell). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. Her books have been New York Times Notable Books of 1992, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002, and she was named in 1999 by The New Yorker as one of the, “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium.” She is the recipient of the 2003 Rea Award for Short Fiction, as well as NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships. Nelson teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, as well as the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. She lives in Telluride, Colorado, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Houston, Texas.




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