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On 11/11/16 at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Spirit Enrichment Award Honoring Margie Papst Steinmetz.
See video below.

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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2014 Pabst Endowed Chairs for Master Writers

nilo cruz

Nilo Cruz (Residency # 158)
Cruz is best known for his play Anna in the Tropics, which won the Steinberg award, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and received a Tony nomination.  His other plays include Dancing on Her Knees, Night Train to Bolina, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano, Beauty of the Father, Lorca in a Green Dress among others.  Cruz has translated Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Doña Rosita the Spinster; and Jose Sanchez Sinisterra’s Ay Carmela.  He also adapted Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings for the stage.  Nilo has been the recipient of other awards and fellowships, including two NEA/TCG National Theatre Artist Residency grants, a Rockefeller Foundation grant and the San Francisco’s W. Alton Jones award. In 2009 he won The Laura Pels Mid-career Playwrighting award and a Helen Merrill award for Excellence in playwriting. He also received the USA Ella Fontanals-Cisneros award.  He has taught playwriting at Brown, NYU Gallatin School, Yale School of Drama, and the University of Iowa. He recently co-wrote the screenplay Castro’s Daughter with Oscar winner Bobby Moresco and adapted Ann Patchet’s Bel Canto into an opera for the Lyric Opera in Chicago. This year he was awarded the Greenfield Prize and will be an artist-in-residence at the Hermitage in Sarasota.  
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Residency Statement
Writing is not so far removed from painting, as some would have us believe.  Why not approach the writing process in the same way visual artists approach painting?  Why not do sketches? Why not do studies of hands and feet of our characters?  Why not explore the childhood of the individuals we are writing about?  Why not enter the act of writing without fixed ideas?

Participants of this workshop will engage in a series of writing exercises. Through these assignments writers will explore the moment-to-moment life behind each character and situations. I encourage investigation, experimentation and scrutiny of circumstances to deepen levels of dialogue, subtext, action or the more profound state of the unspoken.

The goals of this workshop are to stimulate the imagination, to approach the writing of a play from different angles. Painters use a similar method when painting; they engage in a series of studies or sketches before starting to work on a canvas.  

We will start the day with physical stretching exercises. Immediately after the stretching routine, we will engage in the writing process.  After each session some of the participants are expected to read.


paul harding

Paul Harding (Residency # 157)
Paul Harding is the author of two novels about multiple generations of a New England family, Enon (Random House, 2013) and Tinkers (Bellevue Literary Press, 2009), which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the PEN American Robert Bingham Fellowship for Writers. In an interview with Publishers Weekly about his work, Harding has said that he is "interested in the greater whole of which we are a part, but cannot perceive. That makes death an interesting threshold. It fascinates me in the context of our mortality." Harding was a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center, in Provincetown, MA and has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Grinnell College. Before becoming a writer, Harding played drums in the rock band Cold Water Flat, with which he toured North America and Europe several times, and recorded two albums. Harding has a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Currently, he lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.
For more information please visit Blue Flower Arts.

Residency Statement
I imagine our time together as being spent pondering truth and beauty, the imagination, the capacities and limits of the precision and meaning of language, and the alignment of these elements in the bringing of aesthetic pressure to bear upon our prose. As always, I am preoccupied with imaginative truth, and with the idea that that which we find true is that which we find beautiful, and vice versa. This couples morality (not moralizing) with aesthetics in all sorts of suggestive and thought provoking ways. I am also fascinated with the idea that writing is an interrogative process, which when it works produces revelation. In any event, I am committed to a wholly democratic group, conducted in a spirit of humanism, artistic fellowship, and common endeavor. The work is the thing; genres are labels attached subsequent to the creation of art, and we will be limited as little as possible by preconceptions of genre during the creative act. Every work of art worthy of the name is a genre of one. Maybe we’ll do some workshopping. We’ll no doubt do some reading aloud. Maybe we’ll do some assigned writing that arises from our discussions.


dani shapiro Dani Shapiro (Residency # 156)
Dani Shapiro, recently described by Brainpickings as “one of the most enchanting writers of our time,” has written eight books, including the bestselling memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and the novels Black & White and Family History.  Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Ploughshares, One Story, n+1, Electric Literature, Elle, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere.  Shapiro has taught in the graduate writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School, Wesleyan University, and Brooklyn College.  She currently leads writing retreats around the world.  She lives in Connecticut with her husband, the filmmaker Michael Maren, and their family.
For more information please visit Blue Flower Arts.

Residency Statement
My hope is to create a dynamic, creative, mixed-genre laboratory environment in which serious writers of fiction and memoir experiment with different modes of capturing internal life on the page.  Aristotle wrote in Poetics that “action is not plot, but merely the result of pathos.”  I have lived by that credo as a writer. I’m less interested in traditional narrative than I am in the way that both time and consciousness work.  If “plot” unspools as pathos – how does this become the thread that pulls us through the story? We’ll use our two daily hours (from 2-4 in the afternoon, leaving mornings free to think and write) in a “literary lab” exploration of these matters.  Generative exercises and assignments will be part of our working environment, and participants should be open to brief period of meditation.  (But no pressure! Absolute beginners are more than okay.) After all, we must be able to witness the way our own minds move through time before we can explore any other. As the weeks progress, participants will bring in brief passages from their works-in-progress for the group to discuss.  We’ll read these aloud, on-the-spot.  On Thursdays, our two hours will be devoted to private conferences during which individual concerns and challenges will be addressed.




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