Jonathan Galassi was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1949. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College, and Cambridge University, where he earned an M.A. in 1973.
Mr. Galassi became an editor in the trade division of Houghton Mifflin Company in 1973. He was a senior editor at Random House from 1981 to 1986, when he joined Farrar, Straus and Giroux as vice-president and executive editor. He was named president of the firm in 2002.
Mr. Galassi has published two books of poems: Morning Run (1988) and North Street (2000) and has translated several volumes of the work of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale. He recently completed a translation of the poetry of Giacomo Leopardi, Canti: Poems / A Bilingual Edition, released in October, 2010. He has published poems in literary journals and magazines including Threepenny Review, The New Yorker, The Nation and the Poetry Foundation website.
His honors as a poet include a 1989 Guggenheim Fellowship. His activities comprise serving as poetry editor for The Paris Review for ten years, and being an honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets. He currently serves as honorary chairman of the Academy of American Poets, which he served as president from 1994 to 1999 and chairman from 1999 to 2002. He is a member of the board of overseers of the California Institute of the Arts. The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction awarded Galassi the 2008 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction.