Bob Keyes, editorial director at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, is a nationally recognized writer and storyteller with specialties in American visual arts, popular music, and the contemporary culture of New England. Born and raised near Boston, he spent nearly 20 years writing about arts and culture for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram before joining Colby in 2022. Prior to that, he wrote for newspapers in South Dakota, Connecticut, and Georgia.
In September 2021, Boston-based Godine published “The Isolation Artist: Scandal, Deception, and the Last Days of Robert Indiana,” Keyes’s book about the suspicious death of the American artist and a series of lawsuits alleging fraud and abuse. In May 2022, Maine Gov. Janet Mills appointed him to a three-year term on the Maine Arts Commission.
Keyes, a graduate of the University of Georgia, has been widely recognized for his contribution to the public discourse about arts and culture in society. He presented a paper about the visual language of Bob Dylan at the inaugural World of Bob Dylan symposium in Tulsa, Okla., in 2019. In 2017, he won the Rabkin Prize for Visual Arts Journalism, awarded to the top arts writers in the country. The Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance gave him its Distinguished Achievement Award in 2014, and he was part of the inaugural class of the NEA’s Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater in 2004.
He lives in Waterville and Berwick, Maine, with his family.