Robert Polito (born 1951) is an American academic, critic and poet. In 2013, Polito was named the president of the Poetry Foundation. He had been Director of the Writing Program at The New School since 1992. He received the National Book Critics Circle Award and an Edgar Award for Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson.
Polito is working on Detours: Seven Noir Lives, a nonfiction book. He is editing an anthology of Manny Farber’s film and art criticism.
Doubles (a book of poems); A Reader's Guide to James Merrill's The Changing Light at Sandover; and At Titan's Breakfast: Three Essays on Byron's Poetry. Editor of the Library of America volumes Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s and Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s. Essays and poems in Best American Poetry, Walk on the Wild Side: American Urban Poetry Since 1975, O.K. You Mugs, and Communion; also in The New Yorker, The Yale Review, ArtForum, BOMB, Black Clock, Verse, Pequod, Open City, Ploughshares, New York Times Book Review, and VLS, among other magazines. Fellowships from the Ingram Merrill and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundations. Contributing editor of BOMB and The Boston Review. Has taught at Harvard, Wellesley, and New York University.
- "Ed Hood knew everyone. Through him I encountered most of the Cambridge Warhol crowd that would [be] people [heard about in] Edie (Jean Stein and George Plimpton’s oral history of Edie Sedgwick) along with that crowd’s assorted New York visitors: Ed Hennessy, Chuck Wein, John Hallowell, Gerard Malanga, Lou Reed, René Ricard, Donald Lyons, Patrick Fleming, Dorothy Dean, Jonathan Richman, and Andy Paley."
- Among my Boston College friends, Warhol radiated a sly, sinister hipness, a tangent to the dread, doom, and spectacle of our Catholic childhoods."
- "Cain ultimately didn’t invent anything. He is often celebrated as the axial figure in the history of the crime novel...Yet the [shift from detective-focus to criminal-focus] was already implicit in the literary fiction of the 1920s and 1930s that cultivated violence and gangsters – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), Ernest Hemingway’s "The Killers" (1927), and William Faulkner’s Sanctuary (1931)." 
- Peter Carey Interviewed by Robert Polito, Salon.com, May 8, 2001
- Ploughshares articles by or about Robert Polito, Ploughshares bibliography.
- "Robert Polito". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Robert Polito biography, New School University website.
- Robert Polito profile, PEN American Center website.
- A Pair of Andys: Looking at Andy Warhol through Andrew Marvell's eyes, and vice versa, PoetryFoundation.org.
- Postman, a work on James M. Cain, from the Random House website.