Wilkes University

Robert Arthur

Robert P. ArthurRobert P. Arthur
Poet, Fiction Writer, Critic, Playwright

Robert P. Arthur was a finalist for Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2008 and 2010 and is now the president of the Poetry Society of Virginia. Formerly the artistic director of the Edge Theatre on the Eastern Shore, he has published over 1,500 articles and/or reviews and over twenty books of poems, plays, poem/plays, and fiction. He published two new books in 2015: Passover, a ghost story written with Aphrodite Anagnost Williams, and an expanded version of his poetry book, Hymn to the Chesapeake. Northampton House Press has recently published his newest book of selected poetry, Black Gum Against Thunder, as an e-book on Kindle and Nook.  Robert Arthur's Eastern Shore was published by HaveScripts in 2010 adding to a long list of publications. Many of his works merge plays and poetry as poem/plays. His best-known works are possibly Hymn to the Chesapeake (as both book of poetry and poem/play), Vija's War, Phaedra, Strokes, Horse Hammock Point, Chesapeake Celebration and The Libertine. His novels Master William and the Finman won the Maryanne Farley Award for Fiction (pre-publication) at the Virginia Writer's Conference at Christopher Newport University.  He also won the same award for Storm Caller and was the recipient of the Karma Dean Ogden Memorial Award for Poetry in the same year, as well as the recipient of numerous other awards. Arthur has directed at the North Street Playhouse in Onancock, Tidewater Community College, The Venue on 35th Street, the Generic Theatre, the 40th Street Stage in Norfolk, Virginia and the Edge Theatre in Belle Haven, Virginia. He has appeared as an actor in over fifty productions. Arthur founded two magazines of the arts, The BlackWater Review, and Lady Janes' Miscellany and owns the San Francisco Bay Press. He received an M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas and has taught at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. Arthur's play, Phaedra, and the play version of Hymn to the Chesapeake, have won Best Play and Most Innovative Play annual awards from Port Folio Magazine. Hymn tothe Chesapeake played in Washington, New York, and St. Petersburg, Russia.

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