Announcing Rob Arnold as New Executive Director
Poets House has announced literary voice and leader Rob Arnold as the organization’s new Executive Director. He will assume the position on Dec. 1, 2022.
Arnold previously served as Interim Executive Director of Hugo House in Seattle. He has more than 15 years of leadership experience in literary and publishing roles and as a consultant to prestigious arts and cultural organizations. An accomplished writer, Arnold’s poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and supported by organizations including the Somerville Arts Council, Jack Straw Cultural Center and Artist Trust. He is Poets House’s first Indigenous (Pacific Islander) leader.
“Rob brings a wealth of leadership and management experience, a vibrant passion for literature and a deep commitment to Poets House’s mission and audiences as we embark on our next chapter,” Poets House Board Chair Robert Kissane said.
In addition to his extensive leadership track record, Arnold is a well-known literary voice whose poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Hyphen Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, RED INK, Yes Poetry, The Ocean State Review, Peripheries, and The Volta.
“Poets House offers something precious to the world and to the community of poets—a home for all poets and poetry and a library that makes all the riches of poetry available to everyone,” said Arnold. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to take on its leadership. I hope to build on the legacy of vision and good work that has made Poets House a beacon to poets across the country.”
Poets House Interim Director Cornelius Eady will serve in his current role until November 30 and will remain involved with the organization. He will launch and co-host Poets House’s new weekly radio show on WBAI, Open House along with distinguished poet, writer and educator Patricia Spears Jones. The program debuts Friday November 4, 2022, at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
“Poets House is deeply grateful to Cornelius, whose steady leadership stewarded Poets House’s mission and vision for the past year,” Kissane said. “We are excited that he and Patricia will host ‘Open House’ on behalf of Poets House.”
Prior to Eady, Poets House was led for more than three decades by Lee Briccetti, who retired in Fall 2021. Under her leadership, Poets House evolved into one of the premier literary organizations in the country and one of the great poetry libraries in the world. Briccetti created the Poets House Showcase, established Poetry in the Branches—a national model for poetry in libraries—and led the campaign that established a permanent home for Poets House in Battery Park City.
“We are so grateful to Lee Briccetti for her inspired and groundbreaking leadership of Poets House,” said Kissane. “With great compassion, integrity, and vision, Lee opened a warm, welcoming space to a wide-ranging and diverse community of established and emerging poets. The impact of her able stewardship will be felt for generations to come.”
Poets House is a comfortable, accessible place for poetry—a library and meeting place which invites poets and the public to step into the living tradition of poetry. Its public space in Lower Manhattan is undergoing renovation and will reopen in 2023.
Poets House seeks to document the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, to stimulate dialogue on issues of poetry in culture, and to cultivate a wider audience for the art. Learn more at poetshouse.org.