Mary Jo Salter, an accomplished poet and the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor in Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars, is one of 204 new members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced Wednesday. The 2014 class includes some of the world's most premier scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.
Salter is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Nothing by Design, a collection of 36 poems published last year. A frequent reviewer and essayist, she is also a lyricist whose song cycle "Rooms of Light," with music by Fred Hersch, premiered at Lincoln Center in 2007. Her children's book The Moon Comes Home was published in 1989; her play Falling Bodies premiered in 2004.
Salter became a permanent member of the Writing Seminars faculty in 2007, after 23 years of teaching at Mount Holyoke College, and she is presently serving as co-chair of the department.
Salter will be the 52nd academy fellow currently on the Johns Hopkins faculty, a list that also includes Nobel Prize winners Peter Agre, Carol Greider, Riccardo Giacconi, and Adam Riess.
Members of the academy's 2014 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; the Wolf Prize; the Pulitzer Prize; National Medal of the Arts; MacArthur, Guggenheim, and Fulbright Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. Notable names include Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry who made his Nobel-winning discovery about quasicrystals while on sabbatical at Johns Hopkins in the early 1980s; Pulitzer Prize winners Jules Feiffer and Annie Proulx; novelist and screenwriter John Irving; and actor Al Pacino.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 11 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Since its founding in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century, and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 20th century. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.