Posted on June 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Critics of the Poetry Foundation’s response to George Floyd’s killing and its aftermath have received one of their wishes.

Foundation President Henry Bienen and Board of Directors Chair Willard Bunn III both resigned Wednesday, with Bienen’s effective immediately.

Bienen didn’t comment to the media, but the Chicago Tribune reported that his statement to the board complained about staffers not defending themselves against unfair attacks and also said:

Perhaps some of these attacks could have been headed off if I personally had allowed it to be said the Poetry Foundation was racist, complicit, or whatever else some people wanted.

More than 1,800 people, including poets like Ocean Vuong and their advocates, signed an open letter criticizing what it called a “non-substantive, four-sentence statement — which contained no details, action plans, or concrete commitments.”

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Diversity, Poetry

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