The news has been floating around all week but new details have emerged: after 26 years in the business, Ira Silverberg will be leaving his job as a literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic in November to take a job as the literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts. Publishers Marketplace broke the news of the destination following rumors in the industry that Mr. Silverberg would be leaving to head some sort of foundation.
Publishers Marketplace quoted from an e-mail Mr. Silverberg sent to colleagues: “After 26 years in book publishing, it was time for a change,” he wrote. “This particular change will keep me very close to the field I grew up in. I’m honored to do this kind of government service and am thrilled that I’ll be able to help the community of independent publishers, literary journals, writing centers and writers who are supported by the NEA.”
In what appears to be a coincidence, Mr. Silverberg’s announcement follows the departure of Chris Calhoun, who has left SLL to set up his own shop.