Arts and Entertainment

Poetry Society of America Director Resigns

Fiorella Beccaglia   A&E Editor

The Poetry Society of America (PSA) announced on Nov. 5, 2018, that Alice Quinn will be stepping down from her role as executive director in June 2019.

The PSA was founded in 1910 to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to support poets through different programs and awards, and to place poetry as one of the cultural cores of American life. Since joining the organization in 2001, Ms. Quinn has guided multiple programs that celebrate poetry through partnerships with very respected cultural organizations, including the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Ms. Quinn, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, is the editor of “Edgar Allan Poe & The Juke-Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments,” by Elizabeth Bishop. She was also the poetry editor at The New Yorker for 20 years and has been working on an edition of Bishop’s journals to be published.

Most recently, Ms. Quinn led the creation of two awards: the Four Quartets Prize for a unified sequence of poems, funded by the T.S. Eliot Foundation, and the Anna Rabinowitz Prize. “In the eyes of the American literary world, Alice Quinn is a national treasure, beloved for her extraordinary knowledge of, passion for and devotion to poetry,” Kimiko Hahn, the president of the PSA, said in an interview with The New York Times.

Ms. Quinn’s resignation coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Poetry in Motion program, an initiative that places poetry in the transit systems of cities throughout the country, helping to create a national readership for both emerging and established poets. Quinn will also miss the 15th anniversary of the society’s Chapbook Fellowship Program. Winners of the Chapbook Program have been chosen and introduced by distinguished poets such as John Ashbery and Eavan Boland.

Ms. Quinn will be honored at the poetry society’s spring benefit in May. “I think the PSA is in great shape,” Ms. Quinn said. “I know they’re going to find somebody really good for this job—and they should—because the staff is wonderful.”

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