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I was born in Ft. Worth, Texas but grew up in Teheran, Iran. Weekends with my family there included mountain-climbs up to the Castle of the Assassins, once the headquarters of Hassan I Sabbah, the 11th century Persian mystic whom I would later read about in the stories of William Burroughs and William T. Vollmann.

I have written stories and poetry as long as I can remember and was a regular contributor to the now-defunct Dallas-based XPose Magazine of the Arts in the 1990s. I have traveled extensively throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

I served in the U.S. Navy for four years as a Boatswain's Mate on an Aegis-class Destroyer, which I commissioned and piloted on her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean. I received various service awards including three Battle Efficiency ribbons and the NATO medal for Defense of the Former Yugoslavia. I was discharged in 1997 and married my beloved creative partner Sherry in 1999.

Ever the vagabond, I have worked as a bartender, day laborer, public school teacher, travel agency manager, production assistant for Asylum Records, and as a Texas State-Certified Private Investigator. Using my GI Bill benefits I obtained two degrees, both of which included Study Abroad programs in Ireland. I received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas, where I studied film, literature and theater and received the President's Screenwriting Award for my feature-length script LITTLE MOSES’ WORLD FAMOUS TRAVELLING FUNFARE & PLAYHOUSE. I received my Master of Arts degree in film and Irish studies from Northern Illinois University in 2006 and returned to Austin, Texas in 2007.

My first film was the feature length UNCLE FRED, a collaborative effort with Chris Connolly based on a short story I wrote at sea. We shot in various locations in Ft Worth, Texas and New York City and the film was screened at the 2000 Fort Worth Film Festival. Since then, I have written, directed, shot and edited a number of short films in addition to collaborating with musicians on performance films and music videos. My most recent film is the feature-length drama WELLDIGGER (2007). I am currently working on a biographical film and book project about my uncle Philip Norman Fagan, a little-known 1960s counterculture figure who lived with Andy Warhol and performed in several of the famous artist’s underground films. Philip’s other friends, associates and collaborators include Alejandro Jodorowsky, Jack Smith, Jonas Mekas, Gregory Markopoulos, Ronald Tavel, Billy Name, Gerard Malanga, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Allen Ginsberg.

 
        Grant Recipient