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News Mon Jan 28 2013

Poetry Foundation Names New President

Robert Polito cred Gerber + Scarpelli.jpg The Poetry Foundation has named poet, critic and biographer Robert Polito the next president of the organization. His term begins July 8 after current president John Barr steps down to retire.

Polito served as professor and director of the MFA in Creative Writing and Riggio Honors Programs at the The New School, which he compares to the Poetry Foundation in terms of having "distinguished, even glorious pasts that are always in need of reinvention by each new generation."

Polito's poetry, drawing deeply from American pop culture and literary tradition, is collected in two books, Hollywood and God (2009) and Doubles (1995), both published by University of Chicago Press.

Polito's interest in crime novels and film noir inspired his 1995 book Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson (which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography), and has served him as editor of several books on poetry, film, and pop culture of the American midcentury.

A Bob Dylan scholar who plans to eventually write a book on the rock icon, Polito professes to collecting the high school yearbooks of folks like Dylan, Andy Warhol, and John Cage, among others.

Read more about Polito here. (Photo credit: Gerber + Scarpelli).

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