Campus: CSU Fresno -- October 26, 2005

Hallowells Endow Professorship In Creative Writing

James and Coke Hallowell of Fresno have augmented their annual support for a distinguished professorship in creative writing at California State University by permanently endowing the position, which is held by acclaimed writer Steve Yarbrough.

"This endowment means Professor Yarbrough and his successors will have the opportunity to pursue their writing while continuing to provide excellent instruction to the students at Fresno State," said Dr. James E. Walton, chair of the English department.

The funding allows the James and Coke Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing to teach two courses each semester and use the balance of his or her time for research and writing.

Connie Hales, coordinator of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the English department, called the endowment a great honor for the program.

"This kind of support from the private sector illustrates the growing community awareness and appreciation for Fresno's substantial literary legacy," said Hales. "The endowment provides much-needed time for the writer/teacher to devote to writing, and in doing that, helps us recruit and retain top writers in the country such as Steve Yarbrough to teach at Fresno State.

Yarbrough, who joined the Fresno State faculty in 1988, is author of seven books. Earlier this year he was among five finalists for the prestigious PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The national prize is awarded each year for the best work of fiction by an American author. Yarbrough was selected for his novel, "Prisoners of War," published in 2004.

His most recent novel, "The End of California" is forthcoming from Knopf. His other novels are "Visible Spirits" (Knopf) and "The Oxygen Man" (Scribner), and his story collections are "Veneer" and "Mississippi History" (both from the University of Missouri Press) and "Family Men" (LSU Press).

He has won the California Book Award, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, and the Mississippi Authors' Award, as well as an NEA fellowship. His work has been translated, or is being translated, into Japanese, Dutch, and Polish and has appeared in such anthologies as Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories and the Pushcart Prize Anthology.

Media Contacts:
Shirley Melikian Armbruster, 559-278-5292 or 559-593-1815

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