Professor ARTURO (Arthur Pfister) a poet and fiction writer from New Orleans, is a Spoken Word artist, educator, performer, editor, speechwriter and recipient of the Asante Award who received a Master of Arts degree in Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. degree in English/Journalism from the State University of New York-College at New Paltz. Pfister, one of the original Broadside Press poets of the 1960s, has collaborated on a medley of projects with a mélange of artists including painters, musicians, photographers, dancers, singers, fire eaters, waiters, cab drivers, and other members of the Great Miscellaneous. He has performed his poetry, fiction, toasts and “jazz poems” on a solo basis or with musical accompaniment at Ebony Square, Vincent’s City Club, Louisiana Music Factory, the Contemporary Arts Center, the Louisiana Folklife Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Urban League’s Annual Golden Gala, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Tulane University’s Amistad Research Center’s Achievement Award Banquet, True Brew Coffeehouse, the Gold Mine Saloon, ESPE’s, the Maple Leaf Bar, the Jazz Foundation of America (NYC), the Telephone Bar (NYC), the KGB Bar (NYC), the Bowery Poetry Club (NYC), Cornelia Street Café (NYC), Small’s Jazz Club (NYC) and an array of public/parochial schools, colleges, nursing/retirement homes and churches nationwide. His work has been accompanied by musical legends such as Benjamin “Kidd” Lambert, Michael Beauchamp, Eluard Burte, Henry Butler, Willie Cole, Davell Crawford, Vinny Golia, Leroy Jones, the Magic Band, Porgy Jones, Kidd Jordan, Kid Millenberg and Earl Turbinton. He has also served as Featured Performance Poet at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club and co-founded the performance series “ARTURO and Joe’s Old Skool Jazz & Poetry Open Mic Night” at New Orleans’ legendary Edgelake Bar (featured in Elvis Presley’s “King Creole”).
Pfister, who lists Amiri Baraka, Arthur Prysock, Gozo Yoshimasu and Guy de Maupassant among his influences, has had his work published in an array of diverse publications such as the NEW YORK Quarterly, FAHARI, the American Poetry Review, The Shooting Star Review, the Minnesota Review, the Gallery Mirror, EBONY, From a Bend in the River, Mesechabe, Word Up, the Chicory Review, the New Laurel Review, the New Orleans Tribune, We Speak As Liberators, Black Spirits, A Broadside Treasury, and Swapping Stories: Folktales From Louisiana.
He has taught at educational institutions ranging from Northeastern University (Visiting Poet for the Africana Studies Center) to Texas Southern University (Writer In Residence). He has served as Academic Instructor for the New Orleans Urban League’s Computer Operations Training Center and as Poet In Residence at the Neighborhood Gallery. Prior to Katrina, he was employed by the New Orleans Job Corps as Academic/ Pre-GED Instructor. He is presently teaching at a college in Connecticut and was a participant in the CT Writer’s Conference at Norwalk Community College.