Dan Smetanka, editor-in-chief of Phoenix Books before it was abruptly shut in April, has been named editor-at-large for both Counterpoint and Soft Skull Press. Smetanka will remain in Los Angeles and will acquire fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, current events, and history titles. Counterpoint has already acquired a couple Phoenix titles and Smetanka will add more. “Dan has an outstanding track record, and he will enhance our publishing program immediately,” said Counterpoint publisher Charlie Winton. “The six titles he brings to us are extremely complimentary to our overall editorial mix, and we look forward to his new acquisitions.”

Smetanka’s recent acquisitions for Counterpoint are 51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life by Kristen McGuiness, set to launch on the Today Show on August 31, 2010; and Heidegger’s Glasses by acclaimed short fiction writer Thaisa Frank. In 2011, Counterpoint will also publish Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide by Linda Gray Sexton, the new memoir by the daughter of Pulitzer–Prize winning poet Anne Sexton; This River by James Brown, the follow-up to the author’s memoir The Los Angeles Diaries, which Counterpoint will also reissue; and The Adjustment by Scott Phillips, the new novel by the award-winning author of The Ice Harvest.