Kipen Named NEA Director of Literature

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced its appointing San Francisco Chronicle Book Critic David Kipen as the agency's Director of Literature. Among his new responsibilities, Kipen will design and lead national leadership initiatives, develop partnerships to advance the literature field, and recommend panelists and manage the review process for literature applications. He will assume his new responsibilities on September 6, 2005. Since 2000, David Kipen, 42, has been the book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle where he reviews six to eight books each month. He is also a book critic and essayist for National Public Radio's "Day to Day" program and presents Santa Monica station KCRW-FM's weekly commentary and podcast "Overbooked."

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia said, "The National Endowment for the Arts has a tradition of Literature Directors who have regarded literature as one of mankind's highest arts and most moving means of communication. David Kipen upholds that tradition with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the world of the written word. I know that he will not only carry on the great work of the NEA's Literature program, he will explore new ways of connecting Americans to great writing and great writers."

In addition to his work in print and broadcast, Kipen has served on prize juries for the National Book Critics Circle, the Commonwealth Club of California, and PEN Center USA. He was also on the boards of the National Book Critics Circle and PEN Center USA. At literature conferences, he has participated in panel discussions and given keynote speeches.

Kipen joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998 as editor for the paper's Sunday "Book Review." He assigned and edited feature articles and reviews as well as wrote his own features, reviews, and column. Prior to working with the Chronicle, Kipen was the senior editor with Buzz magazine, editing and helping to write the "What's the Buzz?" section about his native Southern California.

He is the editor and author of the forthcoming book The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of Film History from Agee to Zaillian. Kipen received his bachelor's degree in literature from Yale University in 1985.