In a statement released this afternoon, the Poetry Society of America (PSA) announced that Matt Brogan, a writer and longtime nonprofit leader, will serve as the organization’s new executive director. Brogan succeeds Alice Quinn, who led the organization for more than eighteen years. His first day at PSA will be November 25.
Brogan has more than twenty-five years of experience working in the arts, most recently as an independent consultant and producer, assisting various artists, foundations, and nonprofits with a range of creative projects. Previously, he was the executive director of Seattle Arts & Lectures as well as program director for the Academy of American Poets and Nextbook.
In today’s release Brogan payed homage to his predecessor and the long history of the PSA. “I have long admired the Poetry Society’s pioneering work around poetry and public space,” he is quoted as saying. “I am excited to build on the legacy of Alice Quinn, who has been one of the great champions of poets for a generation.”
Late last year Alice Quinn announced she would be stepping down from her position at the nonprofit in 2019. During her tenure Quinn launched multiple new poetry prizes, organized hundreds of events, and expanded the Poetry in Motion program, which brings poetry into transit systems around America. Before arriving at the PSA, she served as the New Yorker’s poetry editor for two decades, and as an editor at Knopf for more than ten years.
In an interview with Poets & Writers Magazine shortly before her departure, Quinn celebrated the PSA’s work as uniquely public-minded: “I think the PSA has always had a special focus on enlightening people about the power of poetry and the special space it can have in your life—how if you encounter it alone or by surprise in a public place, you can be affected and reminded of actually how powerfully you are able to receive the wisdom and force of poetry.”
Allison Binns, president of the PSA board of directors, notes Brogan’s appointment comes at a historic moment and looks forward to his contribution to the organization’s mission: “As the Poetry Society of America enters its 110th year, we are excited to work with Matt to advance the PSA’s mission to ‘build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, and to support poets’ at all stages of their creative development.”