Dr. Stephen Haven, professor of English and director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Ashland University, has been awarded a residency in poetry for the fall of 2014 by the Djerassi Foundation, the largest artist residency program in the Western United States and considered among the best in the country.
Haven is one of 80 artists selected for the 2014 season from more than 800 applicants, and will spend his residency in the company of 12 other American and international artists at the foundation’s 580-acre ranch located in Woodside, Calif., one hour south of San Francisco.
"I was very pleased to receive the offer from the Djerassi Foundation. I am looking forward to the uninterrupted time for work, and to the company of other creative people,” Haven said.
“One of the great things about the Djerassi residency is that the foundation provides meals, so fellows don't have to worry about the distractions of daily life, such as cooking and shopping,” Haven said. “I have been to other arts retreats before, but never to one on the West Coast. Also, the September/October dates were perfect, as I work a spring-summer academic year at AU and am largely free for a good part of the fall.”
Now in its 34th year, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program has provided more than 2,000 artist residencies, and currently serves approximately 90 artists each year – all free of charge. Each year, dozens of artists from across the United States and around the world travel to the ranch through this residency to “take inspiration from the beautiful surroundings and seek refuge from the distractions of the world to concentrate on their creative projects.”
While in residence, the artists have the opportunity to work in peaceful isolation within a supportive community of other artists and program staff, and can thrive on the intellectual stimulation and the collegial interaction in this intimate artist community.
Haven received his M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Iowa and Ph.D. in American Civilization from New York University, where he wrote his dissertation under the direction of Harold Bloom. He has been a repeat fellow at Yaddo and MacDowell, twice a Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature (poetry) at universities in Beijing, and has won four individual artist grants and one residency fellowship (at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center) from the Ohio Arts Council. At AU, Haven serves as director of the MFA Program in Poetry and Creative Nonfiction as well as director of the Ashland Poetry Press.
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###