michael adams named director

Michael AdamsMichael Adams, Associate Director of the James A. Michener Center for Writers and a member of the Faculty Editorial Board for the Undergraduate Research Journal, has been appointed director of the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School and the Texas Institute of Letters.

Adams will be responsible for the program that allows two writers to spend six months each living and writing at the Paisano Ranch, the late author J. Frank Dobie's 254-acre retreat west of Austin, now owned and maintained by The University of Texas at Austin.  Writers receive a stipend of $2,000 per month that covers their expenses, which is provided by the Johnston Foundation, the Houston Endowment and others.

A Dobie Paisano fellowship offers writers more than just a home, more than a stipend. It is a true chance for a writer to retreat. "It's not just a place each writer is given. It is a special place with a special atmosphere—a place of peace and serenity that provides an inner ease," said Adams.  "And it's a place of history, where other writers, most important and well-known, have lived and worked."

Adams has taken over the management of the fellowship program from Dr. Audrey Slate, who was responsible for it for over 30 years.  "Audrey Slate's absolute devotion to the Dobie Paisano Project has made it one of the jewels of the university that we must carefully preserve and nurture," said Adams.

"The Graduate School is pleased to act as the steward of this unique program that builds on the tradition of exemplary Texas writers, including Frank J. Dobie himself.  Michael Adams is the ideal person to enhance and enrich the experience of the Fellows for many years to come." states Victoria Rodríguez, Dean of the Graduate School.

Working with the Graduate School, Adams plans to more emphatically promote the program to the larger University and local communities.  This would allow the Fellows to become more integrated into University life, if they choose to do so, as well as support fundraising efforts to increase the Fellow's stipend and to make needed repairs and improvements to the ranch house and the surrounding grounds.  The program will celebrate its' 40th anniversary in the coming year.

Adams is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Teaching in the Liberal Arts Honors and Humanities programs as well as in the English Department, he offers courses in the modern novel, the modern short story, the history of western culture, and the Bible as literature. He is a member of the Fifth Circuit Bar Association and a columnist for the Fifth Circuit Reporter, writing on all aspects of language. A writer of fiction and non-fiction, his publications include two novels, Blind Man's Bluff and Anniversaries in the Blood, and a textbook on writing, The Writer's Mind: making writing make sense. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

February, 2007