NEA Discipline Directors
Ira Silverberg is currently the Director of Literature for the National Endowment for the Arts. Silverberg oversees grants to organizations as well as fellowships to individual creative writers and translators. He also oversees the NEA's The Big Read, a nation-wide reading initiative.
Prior to coming to the NEA, Silverberg was a literary agent and director of foreign rights with Sterling Lord Literistic (SLL) in New York City. As an agent with SLL since January 2008, he managed a client list of award-winning fiction and nonfiction authors including Adam Haslett and Wayne Koestenbaum, placing works with U.S. and foreign publishers, executing contracts, and implementing digital strategies for new and backlist books. As director of foreign rights, he represented SLL's full list to the foreign market, creating all marketing materials and digital strategies and negotiating contracts.
From September 1998 to December 2008, Silverberg was with Donadio and Olson also as a literary agent and director of foreign rights. Previous to Donadio and Olson, he served as editor-in-chief with Grove Press, and U.S. publisher and co-editorial director for Serpent's Tail, a British publishing company that he brought to the U.S. In 1998, he co-edited Word Virus: The William S. Burroughs Reader for Grove.
Silverberg's experience in public relations spans 11 years, including five years as director of public relations for Grove Press and Grove/Weidenfeld, and more than six years leading his own public relations firm Ira Silverberg Communications.
Silverberg has served on the boards of PEN American Center, The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, BOMB Magazine, and The MFA Writing Program of the New School. He has also been a panelist with the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Wallace Fund, and the Mellon Foundation.
Silverberg has assisted numerous organizations as a consultant including Creative Capital, the Academy of American Poets, and Conjunctions Magazine/Bard College. He was the founding curator of the Literature program at The Kitchen and has travelled widely with stops as a fellow at the Jerusalem International Book Fair, the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, and the Torino Book Fair.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency