Ron Slate was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, and received an MA in creative writing from Stanford University in 1973. His collections of poetry include The Incentive of the Maggot (2005), chosen by poet Robert Pinsky for the Bakeless Poetry Prize and winner of the Larry Levis Reading Prize from Virginia Commonwealth University, and The Great Wave (2009).
Susan Barba, reviewing The Incentive of the Maggot in the Boston Review, wrote of Slate’s style: “he chooses words less for their surprise than their precision. And yet Slate is in command of a varied tonal repertoire.” A successful businessman for over two decades, Slate creates work that is often praised for its maturity and depth. According to the poet Gail Mazur, Slate is “at once a realist uneasily inhabiting a staggeringly surreal universe and a sophisticated surrealist moving easily inside the ordinary life of family, corporate work and international travel, and interpreting his disjointed surroundings with gravity and clarity.”
Slate has worked as a corporate speechwriter and as vice president of global communications for EMC Corporation.