The Poetry Society of America has announced that Alice Quinn will be stepping down as executive director in June.
The society was founded in 1910 to promote poetry in America and expand its readership. It has since supported a host of poets through prestigious prizes and programs.
Since joining the organization in 2001, Ms. Quinn has steered numerous programs that celebrate poetry through partnerships with prominent cultural organizations, including the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Los Angeles Public Library and the New York Botanical Garden.
Most recently, Ms. Quinn spearheaded 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 for an interdisciplinary work featuring poetry.
“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 poetry society, said in a statement.
Her resignation coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Poetry in Motion program, a beloved initiative that decorates New York’s subways with bite-size works chosen by the poetry society, and with 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, an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, is the editor of several books by Elizabeth Bishop, including “Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box” and “Uncollected Poems.” She was the poetry editor at The New Yorker from 1987 to 2007.
She has been working on an edition of Bishop’s journals to be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Ms. Quinn will be honored at the poetry society’s spring benefit in May. The executive committee of the organization’s board is establishing a panel to search for her successor.
“I think the P.S.A. 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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