James Alan Polster

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James Alan Polster
James Polster.jpg
Born Polster, James Alan
(1947-09-14)September 14, 1947
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died December 15, 2012(2012-12-15) (aged 65)
Residence Los Angeles, California
Nationality American
Occupation Novelist, Movie Producer, Screenwriter, Explorer and Journalist

James Alan Polster (September 14, 1947 – December 15, 2012) was an American novelist, movie producer, screenwriter, explorer, and journalist.

Biography[edit]

Born James Alan Polster to Harold and Ethel Polster in Cleveland, Ohio. Polster grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and is a member of the Shaker Heights Alumni Association Hall of Fame.[1] After graduation from Tulane University (B.S.) in 1969, Polster hopped a freighter for Spain and eventually settled in Tangiers. He returned to the United States to attend graduate school. He graduated from Columbia University (M.A.) in 1973. He received a second graduate degree from Harvard University (Ed.M.) in 1982. Beginning in 1973, Polster explored the Amazon Rainforest on several trips,[2] spent time in the jungles of Irian Jaya with cannibals in 1989,[3] and both covered and played in the World Championships of Elephant polo for Sports Illustrated in Nepal in 1991.[4] Polster is a National Fellow of the Explorers Club.[5]

Career[edit]

Polster has worked as novelist, movie producer, screenwriter, explorer and journalist.

His first novel, A Guest in the Jungle, focused a spotlight on the disappearing rainforest and the people who live there,[6][7] and helped to kickstart the rainforest environmental movement.[8] His exploits and adventures have been the subject of numerous media profiles.[9]

His second novel, Brown, was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of the Year,[10] and was awarded The Critics’ Choice Award 1995-96.[11] Brown is slated to be made into a feature film.[12]

His third novel, THE GRADUATE STUDENT, was released in August 2009 as a digital eBook by Stay Thirsty Press.

Polster’s books have been reviewed by The New York Times, [13] Publishers Weekly,[14]Kirkus Reviews, [15]L.A. Daily News,[16] San Francisco Examiner,[17]Cleveland Plain Dealer,,[18] San Mateo Times,[19] Armchair Detective,[20] and Library Journal.[21]

As a movie producer,[22] Polster was an in-house producer for Columbia Pictures and produced five movies for Columbia Pictures Television and NBC starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers:

  • Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart (1995)
  • Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die (1994)
  • Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Hart (1994)
  • Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is (1994)
  • Hart to Hart Returns (1993)

As a screenwriter,[22] he is credited with two television productions:

  • World Without Walls (1988)
  • "Hunter" (1 episode, 1986) - 62 Hours of Terror (1986) TV episode (story)

As an explorer, “Polster was one of the first outsiders to contact and gain acceptance from the Motilone Indians of Columbia/Venezuela, the Cofans and Quechua of Ecuador, and other peoples along the Amazon.[23]

As a journalist, Polster has written for publications including Sports Illustrated,[4]The Los Angeles Times,[3]TRUMP Magazine, [24] and Yahoo.com.[25] He has covered such diverse subjects as: Indira Gandhi in New Delhi;[26] Cannibals in New Guinea;[3] Sugar Ray Leonard in the Duran/Leonard Superfight in New Orleans;[27] Police strike;[28] Potential of Geothermal Energy;[29] Oil vs. Environmentalists in the Louisiana Bayous;[30] BB-War Gamesters;[31] and BB Swashbucklers [32]

Novels[edit]

  • A Guest in the Jungle - Mercury House, 1987
  • Brown - Longstreet Press, 1995
  • THE GRADUATE STUDENT - Stay Thirsty Press, 2009

Short fiction[edit]

  • At the Beach, New Orleans Review, 1980
  • PWC, SMOKE MAGAZINE, Spring, Issue 2 Vol 1 page 168, 1996

Awards and honors[edit]

  • New Orleans Press Club Award for Feature Photo in 1980 for Cambodian Refugee Camps 1979 (UPI)
  • First Place - New Orleans Press Club Award (Best Column) for a Three-Part Series on Duran/Leonard Superfight, 1981[27]
  • Ann Arbor Film Festival - Judge 1981
  • First Place, “A” Stock Hydroplane Championship of Maine[33]
  • California (Marin) Art Council Grant 1987
  • MacDowell Fellowship 1989[34]
  • Wurlitzer Foundation Grant 1989
  • The Critics’ Choice Award 1995-96 [11]
  • Tennessee Williams Festival 1995 - Guest Speaker
  • William Faulkner Festival 2001 and 2002 - Guest Speaker
  • Who’s Who in America [35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.shaker.org/alumni/halloffame/members.htm
  2. ^ “Going back 20,000 years in the jungle,” San Francisco Examiner, by Burr Snider, April 26, 1988
  3. ^ a b c http://articles.latimes.com/1990-04-29/travel/tr-25_1_irian-jaya
  4. ^ a b http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1140153/index.htm
  5. ^ Explorers Club Yearbook 2008, Part VIII: Membership Roster, page 268 Polster, James, FN '99
  6. ^ “Review: A Guest in the Jungle” by Bebeck McGhee, Earth First/World Rainforest Report, Vol. VIII, No. 11, November 1, 1987
  7. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1987-11-29/books/bk-25159_1_jungle-town
  8. ^ “Polster's fiction blends adventure and humor with a social and ethical perspective on Indian rights.” Bookline, August 27, 1987 by Lisa K. Buchanan, Guest Editor
  9. ^ 'You’ll Never Get Out Alive' – But He Did, The Times-Picayune, by Jennifer Quale, June 18, 1976; Ex-Shakerite James Polster turns novelist in Amazon, Cleveland Plain Dealer 09 Dec, 1987, pg. 08 sec. E; NPR- Morning Edition, Houston, with Maryann Young, 10/21/87; WTKN- Pittsburgh, with Scott Cassidy, 11/5/87; ABC TV- Cleveland- Morning Exchange- Nov. 1, 1987; KGIL- Los Angeles- Oct. 13, 1987; KPFA- Berkeley- with Denny Smithson - Aug. 3, 1995
  10. ^ PW’s Best Books 95, Publishers Weekly, November 6, 1995, p. 58
  11. ^ a b http://www2.state.lib.la.us/writersdirectory/index.php?disp=onea&id=127
  12. ^ Polster, ‘Brown’ stroll Avenue, The Hollywood Reporter, by Cathy Dunkley, March 6, 1996, p. 20
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1995/09/03/books/crime-057395.html?pagewanted=all)
  14. ^ Publishers Weekly, April 3, 1995 (Brown)
  15. ^ Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1995 (Brown)
  16. ^ “Frightening, funny ‘Jungle out there,’” L.A. Daily News by Bruce Cook, December 27, 1987
  17. ^ Book Review, San Francisco Examiner, August 6, 1997, p. 8
  18. ^ “Ex-Shakerite James Polster turns novelist in Amazon,” Cleveland Plain Dealer 09 Dec, 1987, pg. 08 sec. E
  19. ^ “A riotous romp in the Amazon Jungle,” San Mateo Times, by Jack Russell, October 7, 1987
  20. ^ Review by Donald H. Buck, Armchair Detective Quarterly, Winter, 1996 (Brown)
  21. ^ Library Journal, Books of Choice by Dan Bogey (Brown), November 1, 1995, p. 136
  22. ^ a b http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0689861/
  23. ^ "...Polster became the first outsider to live in the Djuka (also Aucaaner) village of Loabi on the Tapanahony River.” African Arts Magazine, April 1977, p. 74
  24. ^ “Lights,Camera, Trump,” TRUMP MAGAZINE, Winter, 2006
  25. ^ Mystery of the Martyr's Tomb," http://news.yahoo.com/s/rba_daily/20060515/rba_daily/rba_daily4336
  26. ^ Letter From India- Interview with Indira on Election Eve by Jim Polster, The Figaro, New Orleans, Dec. 10, 1979
  27. ^ a b Three-Part Series on the Duran/Leonard Superfight by James Polster, The Figaro, November 17, 24, December 1, 1980
  28. ^ “Mardi Gras ’79: An Uncarnival,” by James Polster, The Figaro, March 5, 1979
  29. ^ “Underground Louisiana,” by James Polster, New Orleans Magazine, September 1977
  30. ^ “Is Getty Oil The Real Honey Island Swamp Monster? Beneath the Bog” by James Polster, The Figaro, April 23, 1979
  31. ^ “BB-War Gamesters Shoot for Sport,” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, May 20, 1979, page A1
  32. ^ “BB Swashbucklers Take on Tom Snyder,” Los Angeles Herald Examiner, May 21, 1979 page A1
  33. ^ “Powerboating, Stock Outboard at Rockland, Maine,” Boston Globe, June 22, 1982, p. 37
  34. ^ http://www.macdowellcolony.org/artists-indexfellows.php
  35. ^ The Who’s Who in America, 63rd Edition, 2009, p. 3942

External links[edit]