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UT Libraries Welcomes New Writer in Residence

meister-headshotBeginning August 1, writer Kali Meister will bring her eclectic talents to her appointment as the University of Tennessee Libraries’ new Jack E. Reese Writer in Residence.

Meister’s writing is an extension of her rich experiences in theatre, performance art, and film. In the many theatrical productions to her credit, Meister has worked as a playwright, director, actor, costume coordinator, and make-up designer. She has performed as a poet, storyteller, and stand-up comic at various events. While living in Texas, Meister worked as an extra on the films J.F.K., Dazed and Confused, and Boys on the Side.

Her literary achievements include winning the 2005 Margaret Atley Woodruff Award for fiction and the 2006 Margaret Atley Award for playwriting. She also received the 2005 and 2006 Eleanor Burke Award for non-fiction from the University of Tennessee’s English department. Meister’s poetry has been featured in publications such as Circle Magazine, Pegasus Review, and Phoenix. Her ten-minute scene, Absurd Noir, will be featured in the Knoxville Writers’ Guild anthology, Outscapes, to be published this fall.

Meister is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and is currently a MFA candidate studying creative writing, with a concentration in playwriting, at Goddard College.

She is excited to begin her work in the Libraries’ program. “The Jack E. Reese Writer in Residence is an amazing opportunity that I am grateful to receive. I look forward to the potential it will allow in my work as a writer. I can’t wait to see what blossoms for me creatively,” Meister said.

UT Libraries inaugurated the Writer in Residence program in 1998 to support emerging writers in their efforts to become full-time authors. The library provides an office and a computer and compensates the writer with a small stipend. The program was named in honor of Jack E. Reese, a former UT chancellor and English professor who was an avid supporter of the writing community.

As Writer in Residence, Meister will coordinate the Writers in the Library series. The series showcases several presentations each semester that feature readings and performances by local and nationally known writers and artists.

The first Writers in the Library event of the fall semester will feature award-winning young adult author Alan Gratz on September 2. Writers in the Library events are usually held in the Lindsay Young auditorium of Hodges Library. Readings and performances begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Please visit for more information about upcoming events.

The Writers in the Library series is sponsored by the University of Tennessee Libraries and the Creative Writing Program of the UT English Department. For further information, please contact Jo Anne Deeken, head of technical services, UT Libraries, at 974-6905 or, or Kali Meister, Jack E. Reese writer in residence, UT Libraries, at

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