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Adrian Matejka
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 26 April 2022

CHICAGO, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Poetry Foundation announces that Adrian Matejka will join Poetry as the new editor beginning May 16. Matejka is the first Black editor to ever lead Poetry; he was selected through a national search.

The Poetry Foundation is pleased to announce that Adrian Matejka will join Poetry as the new editor.

"We are thrilled to welcome Adrian Matejka as the new editor of Poetry," said Michelle T. Boone, Poetry Foundation president. "As an accomplished poet, educator and past poet laureate, Adrian brings invaluable talent and experience. We look forward to his leadership and collaboration with the team to share new poets and poetry with the world. It feels fitting that we are able to announce this news during National Poetry Month."

Poetry was founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912, and is the longest-running monthly magazine devoted to verse in the English-speaking world. The magazine publishes new works from poets in the US and beyond, and continues to evolve alongside the art it highlights. Matejka joins the existing Poetry team after a series of guest editors who expertly helmed the magazine alongside them in 2021–2022: Esther Belin, Su Cho, Suzi F. Garcia, Ashley M. Jones, and Srikanth "Chicu" Reddy.

"I couldn't be more humbled or excited to be the new editor of Poetry.

"The 19-year-old version of me, thumbing through the magazine's pages with wonder, would have never imagined that he would one day be part of such a vital literary institution," said Adrian Matejka. "It will be my duty to work with the brilliant staff at the magazine and the Poetry Foundation to continue transforming the magazine into an engine for 21st century poetry. I am committed to reimagining Poetry not only as a venue for poetics, but more importantly, as one that is in service of poets and treats writers as the gifts that they are."

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, Matejka grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and served as Poet Laureate of Indiana in 2018–19. A seasoned professor and writer, Matejka has authored several collections of poetry, including his most recent collection, Somebody Else Sold the World, which was a finalist for the 2022 UNT Rilke Prize. His first graphic novel, Last On His Feet, will be published in 2023 by Liveright.

"Not only has Adrian defined himself as an influential poet writing today, having worked with him closely through our Poem-a-Day series, for which he was an inaugural guest editor, and Poets Laureate Fellowship project, I can attest to his care for other poets' work and his community-building spirit," said Jen Benka, president and executive director of the Academy of American Poets. "I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Adrian and the Poetry Foundation on this excellent addition to their team, and I look forward to reading the poems he'll help share with readers."

Tyehimba Jess, celebrated poet and president of the Cave Canem Board of Directors, had this to say about Matejka's selection: "Adrian's vision of building literary community through excellence and diversity in publication is a critical step forward for Poetry. Through his work on the page and his activism as poet laureate of Indiana, Adrian has a track record of service to history and the fullness of each reader and poet's humanity. I look forward to perusing the pages and programs of Poetry that he will curate during his tenure."

Matejka's honors include a Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Julia Peterkin Award, as well as fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. Matejka earned an MFA at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, where he went on to serve as a Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry.

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