DENVER (Nov. 8, 2007) - University of Colorado Denver assistant professor Craig Volk was named a winner in the 2007 PEN CENTER USA's "Best in the West" competition. Volk won in the drama category for his play "Mayakovsky Takes the Stage" performed at the King's Center's Eugenia Rawls Courtyard Theatre in Denver. Volk received the honor at the 17th Annual Literary Awards Festival. The first college teacher to ever win a PEN, Volk brings is passion in writing to his teaching at the College of Arts and Media at the downtown Denver campus.

"Mayakovsky Takes the Stage" takes audiences inside the life and mind of Vladimir Mayakovsky, artist, playwright, and leading poet during the Russian Revolution of 1917. Mayakovsky, a passionate and disturbed man who led a life of public disobedience and passionate love, succumbed to the critical beatings of his work in 1930 when he committed suicide by revolver. The darkly humored play originally began as an epic screenplay not even the most patient agent would read. Set in two acts, it uses original and witty dialogue alongside snippets of Mayakovsky's most famous poetic works. Research for both cinematic and theatrical versions took almost ten years.

Craig Volk, an assistant professor in the Theatre, Film, and Video Production Department, was a staff writer for the hit television series, "Northern Exposure," and has written pilots for ABC and CBS, as well as a feature film for Showtime while he was under contract at Viacom.
Well known Quotes

I'd rather get my brains blown out in the wild than wait in terror at the slaughterhouse.

The killing was the best part. It was the dying I couldn't take.
Story Biography

Charlie Grace (story editor) (1 episode, 1995)

Bring Me the Head of Darnell Sims (1995) TV episode (story editor)

Key West" (story editor) (12 episodes, 1993)

Heavy Metal, Heavy Hearts (1993) TV episode (story editor)

The System (1993) TV episode (story editor)

Compadres (1993) TV episode (story editor)

We the People (1993) TV episode (story editor)

Crossroads (1993) TV episode (story editor)

Writer:

Vampire High (1 episode, 2001)

  What's Up Doc? (2001) TV episode (writer)

Higher Ground (2000) TV series

Sheena (2000) TV series

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (1997) TV series Charlie Grace (1 episode, 1995)

Designer Knock-Off (1995) TV episode (writer)

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1 episode, 1995)

All That Glitters (1995) TV episode (written by)

Diagnosis Murder (1 episode, 1994)

Shanda's Song (1994) TV episode (writer)

Key West (3 episodes, 1993)

Heavy Metal, Heavy Hearts (1993) TV episode (written by)

Compadres (1993) TV episode (written by)

We the People (1993) TV episode (teleplay)

Northern Exposure (1 episode, 1991)

A-Hunting We Will Go (1991) TV episode (written by)

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd (1987) TV series

How do you do Mr Volk, or may I call you Craig,
First I would like to thank you for those tremendous episodes really enjoyed them. But by watching them I get this great respect for the writers because quite frankly without you there wouldn't be a story.

Greetings...

I believe in the supernatural...am more of a mystic actually.

How did you get the idea's for "There is a new Vamp in town", do you also believe in the supernatural or things inexplicable like black or white magic, or is it just a fantastic ability to fantasize and place yourself  into the story, which is quite gift to.

Don't recall where I got the basic idea...believe I was called upon to introduce the new character...so was practical.

The chant that they use in "There's a new Vamp in town" , "Chey Kah Pah ,  Oh Key Lah"  where on earth did you get that from, thought I might try and get translated just to see what it might have meant.Needless to say I do now have the opportunity to ask you where did you get it from.?

"Chey kah pah...etc." is actually a Lakota Sioux saying that translates as -- "Looking for your belly button."  Meaning looking for something that can't be found.

Because I have seen the other Vampire shows, and basically they are good to watch, but with Vampire High there is something so indefinable so different that it keeps pulling one's attention to it, especially with the main character Professor Murdoch. I hear other people discussing the possibilities of who the Vampire's are going to fall in love with, okay I can understand that, but the driving questions that keeps on arising  are still who, or what is he this professor why do the elders trust him so inexplicably, maybe that is what is attracting people back to the show. Also through David
Mcilwraith's performance of his character, they were truly one.

David was excellent as Dr. M...and a pleasure to write for.

So how do you do that to add so much credibility to the story that it raises more questions than it answers like in "What's Up Doc".
Did you  collaborate with Mark Shekter on this point, or was this all your own doing.

I was very much on my own in the early stages of writing the series, serving as I did as head writer.

With "Little Sister" I loved the way that Karl so desperately wants to contact his sister so he can reassure her that he is all right, but he finally decides against it, truly touching.Was this your idea trying to show how the vampire's  desperately try to retain their human feelings for the one's they love, one can think of it but being able to put it to paper is the true gift of a writer.

"Little Sister" was a unique episode in that, I believe I'm right on this (?), we shot at a cemetery in northern Montreal.  And I'll always recall all of us standing in the graveyard and recording "wild sound" where we were compelled to all be completely silent.  It was a profound moment of reflecting on mortality in general.  Eerie...and memorable.


I would like to thank in the first place for answering my e-mail.