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Robert Polito

Robert Polito

A highly respected poet, critic, and biographer, Robert Polito is now president of the Poetry Foundation. He previously was director of Creative Writing at The New School, where he founded the MFA Program in Creative Writing. Born in Boston in 1951, he earned a doctorate in English and American language and literature from Harvard University. Polito’s poetry has been collected in two books, Hollywood & God (2009) and Doubles (1995). His scholarly works include A Reader’s Guide to James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover (1995) and Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson (1996), for which he received a National Book Critics Circle Award and an Edgar Award. He also edited Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber (2009), Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 1940s and Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s (1997), The Selected Poems of Kenneth Fearing (2004), and David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s (2012) all for the Library of America, and editions of Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain for Everyman Library.

The recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation, Polito is a contributing editor to BOMB and the Boston Review. His poetry, essays, and criticism have been published widely, including in the Best American Poetry, Best American Essays, and Best American Movie Writing annual anthologies.

DETOURS (Alfred A. Knopf)

FARBER ON FILM: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber (Library of America, 2009)

SAVAGE ART: A Biography of Jim Thompson (Alfred A. Knopf, 1995)