Robert Polito

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Robert Polito

Robert Polito (born 1951) is an American academic, critic and poet. He is on the faculty of The New School.[1] From 2013 to 2015, Polito was the president of the Poetry Foundation.[2] He has also served as 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.[3]


Polito is from Quincy, Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, and a Ph.D. in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University.

Recent work[edit]

Novelist John Reed and Polito at the National Book Critics Circle awards in 2012

Polito is working on Detours: Seven Noir Lives, a nonfiction book. He is editing an anthology of Manny Farber’s film and art criticism.[4]

Selected work[edit]

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.


External links[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Robert Polito". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Robert Polito biography, New School University website.
  4. ^ Robert Polito profile, PEN American Center website.
  5. ^ A Pair of Andys: Looking at Andy Warhol through Andrew Marvell's eyes, and vice versa,
  6. ^ Id.
  7. ^ Postman, a work on James M. Cain, from the Random House website.