English professor Anahid Nersessian named poetry editor for Granta

Portrait of Anahid Nersessian

Courtesy of Anahid Nersessian

Portrait of Anahid Nersessian

Sean Brenner | February 29, 2024

“I like poetry that’s unexpected, that doesn’t conform to what’s going on in the mainstream but that’s nonetheless clearly part of an important conversation or movement,” says Anahid Nersessian.

Now, the UCLA English professor has a new platform from which to highlight such work: On Feb. 13, Nersessian became the new poetry editor for Granta, the prestigious literary quarterly.

“Anahid Nersessian has a wonderfully concentrated mind for poetry,” Granta editor Thomas Meaney told The Bookseller. “Her writing about contemporary poets has been one of the most thrilling literary developments in recent years. We are delighted she is joining us as Granta’s new poetry editor.”

Nersessian says she has read Granta for years and that she admires in particular the publication’s commitment to new writers. As poetry editor, she says, she hopes to showcase both undiscovered and established voices.

“I’m interested in seeking out work that comes from all over the globe, and in introducing readers to poets they may not have encountered before as well as including some of the most important authors from the last several decades.”

While Granta is based in the U.K., the journal is international in its scope. Nersessian, a New York native, says having Los Angeles as her home base may subtly influence her work as editor.

“The literary scene in Los Angeles is so exciting right now,” she says. “It has an irreverence and openness that you don’t quite find anywhere else. Living here has certainly changed my temperament in all sorts of ways, so I imagine that will find its way into my editing too.”

Nersessian has written three books including most recently “Keats’ Odes: A Lover’s Discourse,” which was published in 2020. She also contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books.