People: Palgon Leaves, Drake Promoted in Crown Realignment; Burch Leaves Touchstone

The Crown Publishing Group has realigned executive responsibilities in some areas, and evp, deputy publisher Michael Palgon will leavinge at the beginning of March as a result, after more than 24 years with the company and nearly five years at his current position. Crown president and publisher Maya Mavjee said in a statement that Palgon was "universally respected and admired throughout Random House, Inc., and the industry, for his publishing expertise and accomplishments, management skills, and financial acumen."

Mavjee also cited Palgon's "most singular and enduring legacies will be the seminal and astute leadership he has provided in building and supervising our company's dedicated religious publishing program, which today comprises Waterbrook Multnomah." President and publisher of Colorado-based Waterbrook, Image, and Convergent Books Steve Cobb will report directly to Mavjee after Palgon departs.

Replacing Palgon is David Drake, who is being promoted to svp, deputy publisher effective March 1, with the publicity, marketing, and business development departments reporting to him. Jill Flaxman has been promoted to the new role of svp, director, publishing operations, overseeing art & design, managing editorial, production, production editorial, and subrights departments.

Additionally, Carisa Hays will join Crown as evp, director of publicity on February 19, and she will succeed Drake as divisional spokesperson as well. She was most recently vp, publicity director at Free Press. Donna Passanante has been promoted to evp, director of marketing, effective March 1, and Crown will be hiring a replacement for her previous position of marketing director at Potter.

Separately, at Simon & Schuster, director of publicity for the Scribner imprint Brian Belfiglio will now also take on responsibility for Touchstone, effective February 19. As a result Marcia Burch will leave the company on February 15 after more than 13 years with Touchstone, most recently as vp, director of publicity. "During her time here, Marcia has been an integral part of the Touchstone team, and has also created a top-notch department with a team of highly-capable publicists, ever-ready to help our books and authors get the attention they so deserve," Stacy Creamer said in the announcement.

In other personnel news, Kerri Kolen will join Putnam as executive editor on February 24. Previously she was executive editor at Hyperion.

At Spiegel & Grau, Laura Van der Veer has been promoted to associate editor.

At Tor, Melissa Frain, Kristen Sevick and Whitney Ross have all been promoted to editor.

Longtime director of the creative writing program at The New School Robert Polito will take over as president of the Poetry Foundation in Chicago in early July. Current president John Barr is retiring.

The longlist was announced for the biannual Booker International prize, to be awarded May 22. The candidates are:

UR Ananthamurthy (India)
Aharon Appelfeld (Israel)
Lydia Davis (USA)
Intizar Husain (Pakistan)
Yan Lianke (China)
Marie NDiaye (France)
Josip Novakovich (Canada)
Marilynne Robinson (USA)
Vladimir Sorokin (Russia)
Peter Stamm (Switzerland)