Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti is a British poet and author living in the United States who has published widely in the United States and in Europe. Although she has written for print publications, she is most widely known as a result of her prolific output online. Besides running the blog she founded, The Tant Mieux Project, she also serves as a regular contributor to Blogcritics, is an established writer for various online and print magazines (specifically writing about Bob Dylan and Lewis Carroll as well as cultural and political issues), and is Senior Cultural & Political Editor with Cyrano's Journal Online. Ranson is also a well-established poet both in the United States and in Europe.
Early career and education
Ranson was born 5 September 1966 in London and was raised in the United Kingdom. She attended university and interned in the United States.
Ranson had previously worked in publishing since the age of fifteen and was one of the youngest "Rovers" or interns ever hired by the large magazine publishing house of Conde Nast Publications (where she worked in the New York city office), which publishes many of the top magazines worldwide.
After working at Conde Nast, Ranson attended Boston University, returning to Conde Nast for several summers to work as a fashion assistant at Vogue magazine where she worked for Jade Hobson and Anna Wintour as well as other editors under the direction of then editor Grace Mirabella. Note that this is the same program that employed Sylvia Plath at one time and which provides the backdrop of her famous book the The Bell Jar.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Boston University, Ranson worked at The Atlantic Monthly as a literary associate where she evaluated incoming manuscripts for Staff and Fiction Editor C. Michael Curtis as well as Poetry Editor Peter Davison, before she was hired by the well-known independent literary publishing house of David R. Godine, Publisher.
Ranson-Polizzotti first became known for her premier novel, Eels, which was published by Alyscamps Press in Paris on 5 September 1997. Eels was compared to the novel by Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept and, among others, Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. The novella, Eels, was well received and well-reviewed by The Review of Contemporary Fiction, as well as the (then print-only) edition of The Boston Book Review in October 1996 and in the Fall issue of The Harvard Review. At the time of publication, Ranson had already left David R. Godine Publisher to found her own imprint, Lumen Editions.
Editing and publishing
Ranson-Polizzotti was founder and Editorial Director of the literary press Lumen Editions, an imprint of Brookline Books, which was known for publishing work in translation, and shedding a light where none had been shed before. The board of Lumen Editions included, among others, notable individuals in the publishing world, Nobel Prize Winner Saul Bellow, author Tom Pohrt, artist Rosamund Purcell, New York publisher Ned Chase (father of Chevy Chase), and other notable figures in the publishing industry.
Lumen Editions quickly established itself as one of the best independent publishers in the field and received a great deal of media attention both for its high-profile Editorial Board as well as the fine quality of work in translation. It soon became one of the most watched publishers in its class. The publishing house received a great deal of attention in both trade and non-trade magazines such as Publisher's Weekly, Independent Publisher, and the books are notable for receiving a New York Times review (per book) as well as garnering attention and numerous reviews from other major national media.
Ranson has been profiled by various magazines for her work at Lumen and was most recently profiled for the famous Cleveland Blogcritics, an online newspaper and magazine that won Best of Forbes in its class. Due to the work Ranson was doing at Lumen and that paperback translations had previously not garnered much attention where Lumen succeeded, Independent Publisher named Ranson the enfant terrible of the publishing world.
In autumn 2009, Publisher's Weekly was the first industry publication to announce that Ranson would again launch her own imprint, much like Lumen, this called Fibonacci Editions, an imprint for literary trade books which Ranson formed under the aegis of the US-based publisher, Twilight Times Books, publisher Lida Quillin. The announcement that Ranson would again be working as head-of-house and acquisitions editor was a feature story in the edition of 26 October 2009 of Publishers Weekly.
Ranson-Polizzotti was named a senior editor and analyst to the political and literary journal Cyrano, edited by Patrice Greanville, Editor Emeritus Gore Vidal and Editors Noam Chomsky among others in the field. Ranson-Polizzotti has been named as a Senior Cultural & Political Analyst.
Lewis Carroll and Bob Dylan
Ranson has well-established herself in the world of trade publishing as an editor and is also well-established as a poet as well as a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Ranson has written widely about author Lewis Carroll, among many subjects and topics. Ranson-Polizzotti is now under contract with Continuum Books and is writing a full-length manuscript about Carroll as part of a series of great authors. Her articles about Lewis Carroll have been widely published and anthologised. Ranson-Polizzotti is also a member of the Society for New Lewis Carroll Studies, Contrariwise with other Carroll scholars who work and write to bring a new, contemporary and they argue more accurate understanding to the biography of Lewis Carroll. Of note is Ranson's documented contention that Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) had epilepsy, which she has documented in articles and is forthcoming in her book on Carroll.
Ranson-Polizzotti has just completed a biography of Lewis Carroll. She is also working on a book of personal essays about singer/songwriter and Pulitzer Prize winner Bob Dylan.
Tant Mieux is an officially endorsed and is one few Bob Dylan sites that are selected from the many sites worldwide to be featured on Bobdylan.com, which is endorsed and run and owned by Sony BMG. Ranson's articles which are often featured read more like philosophy than criticism or interpretation. While Ranson will write music criticism and commentary and writes a successful column for Blogcritics (The List of the Moment), she does not attempt to interpret Dylan's work but rather uses him as a way to express and convey her own thoughts. Tant Mieux has one of the most extensive collection of images of Bob Dylan available as an archive.
Teaching and writing
Ranson is a professor (at the graduate level where she teaches Book Editing and Publishing to graduate students). She also guest lectures on various topics at a number of universities and has participated in she has also done public radio programs on the state of translation public radio programs. She has lectured at Harvard University's Bunting Institute for publishing, and frequently lectures on pop culture and Bob Dylan, about whom she runs a successful web site. Ranson-Polizzotti lectures at The New School and New York University, both in New York City.
Ranson writes for many online and print publications that publish her poetry as well as work about Bob Dylan, Lewis Carroll, Henry Miller for the international journal Nexus), Contariwise, Teleread, and generational and cultural issues as well as a popular music column for Best of Forbes magazine, Blogcritics. She is presently working on a novel entitled Unnaturally Close.
Ranson's poetry has been published in journals both in the United States and abroad and has been well received and reviewed by many journals, such as The Dalkey Archive Press (publisher) which reviewed Ranson's first book, Eels. Ranson-Polizzotti has a new book of collected and select poems forthcoming this summer from her French publisher, Alyscamps Press, who initially published Ranson's first novel in a limited, signed and numbered collector's edition. These editions, considered rare, now sell for over eighty dollars if authenticated.
- Eels, Alsycamps Press, Paris, ISBN 1-897722-89-3
- The American Directory of Writer's Guidelines, 3rd Edition: A Compilation of Information for Freelancers from More Than 1,400 Magazine Editors and Book Publishers (Paperback), Quill Driver Books, 3rd Edition, January 2003
- What About Lewis Carroll Biography & Source Studies, editor Fred Carl
- First Book Market, editor Jason Shinder, "Faith and Fiction" by Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti, Macmillan, Book of the Month Club selection.
- Biography & Source Studies; an anthology editor Fred Carl, "What about Lewis Carroll" by Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti, editor Fred Carl
- Latiolais, Michelle. Eels. The Review of Contemporary Fiction. 22 June 1998.
- "sadi ranson-polizzotti | the tant mieux project – bob dylan on tant mieux | so much the better". Tantmieux.squarespace.com.
- "Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti Archives " TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics". Teleread.org.
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Ranson-Polizotti runs several personal websites and projects, contributes poetry to dozens of literary magazines, and has (as of November 2006) published over 275 articles/essays on American culture for blogcritics. (Here is a partial list).