Mark Saltveit

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Mark Saltveit
Bornc. 1962[1]
OccupationStand-up comedian, writer
Notable worksThe Palindromist

Mark Saltveit (born c. 1962) is a Portland-based stand-up comedian, writer, and palindromist.[2][3]

Saltveit's interest in wordplay goes back to his childhood, when he and his young brothers would discuss palindromes to stave off boredom during long family road trips. In his 20s, he began composing lengthy palindromes of his own. His first ("Resoled in Saratoga, riveting in a wide wale suit, I use law, Ed. I, wan, ignite virago, tar a snide loser.") is remarkable for its length, but took only a matter of hours to compose.[4]

In 1996, Saltveit founded The Palindromist, a biennial magazine devoted to palindromes and closely related forms of wordplay.[5]

On March 16, 2012, Saltveit won the first-ever World Palindrome Championship. The contest, held in Brooklyn before a live audience of 700, was organized by enigmatologist Will Shortz. Saltveit's winning entries beat out those of the six other contestants, including cartoonist Jon Agee and biostatistics professor John Connett.[1][6][5]

Saltveit is the subject of a documentary short, A Man, a Plan, a Palindrome, which premiered at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2015. The filmmaker, Vince Clemente, plans to produce a feature-length version covering Saltveit's and his fellow contestants' preparations for the next World Palindrome Championship in 2017.[4][7]


  • Mark Saltveit. The Tao of Chip Kelly: Lessons from America's Most Innovative Coach. New York: Diversion Books, 2013. ISBN 978-1-62681-226-0.


  1. ^ a b Steinmetz, Katy (March 6, 2013). "Madam, I'm Adam: Palindrome Masters Go Head to Head in Championship". TIME.
  2. ^ V, Primus (July–August 2012). "Wow. Huh?". Harvard Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  3. ^ Matheson, Whitney (April 3, 2012). "A dispatch from the king of palindromes". USA Today. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Steinmetz, Katy (April 4, 2015). "'Madam, I'm Adam': Meet the Reigning World Palindrome Champion". TIME. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Morice, David (February 2012). "Kickshaws". Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics. 45 (1): 22–50.
  6. ^ House, Kelly (March 19, 2012). "Portland palindromist Mark Saltveit wins the world championship". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 25, 2015.
  7. ^ Chris Higgins (March 30, 2015). "Video Premiere: 'A Man, a Plan, a Palindrome'". Mental Floss. Retrieved April 25, 2015.

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