The Academy of American Poets announced yesterday that Victor Hernández Cruz and Ron Padgett have been elected to its board of chancellors. Hernández Cruz’s most recent poetry collection is The Mountain in the Sea (Coffee House Press, 2006), and Padgett’s most recent collections are How to Be Perfect (Coffee House Press, 2007) and If I Were You: Collaborative Poems (Proper Tales Press, 2007).
Hernández Cruz and Padgett, who will each serve a term of six years, were elected by current chancellors Frank Bidart, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, Galway Kinnell, Nathaniel Mackey, Sharon Olds, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C. K. Williams.
The Academy’s board of chancellors, established in 1946, elects new members "chosen from amongst literary persons of the highest standing" who are "known for their good judgment and eminent integrity of opinion" and "geographically represent the entire United States," according to guidelines published on the Academy’s Web site. Chancellors assist in making artistic decisions, developing programs, and judging some awards while "serving as ambassadors of poetry in the world at large."