Harvard Scholar to Discuss ‘Poetry in America’ at UM

September 18, 2018

Elisa New, a Harvard literature professor, will speak at UM on Sept. 24.MISSOULA – Elisa New has brought poetry to the masses with a public television series titled “Poetry in America.” Now, she will bring her extensive literary knowledge to the University of Montana on Monday, Sept. 24.

New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University. She will present a lecture at 4 p.m. in UM’s Gallagher Business Building Room 123. The event, titled “Dunking the Sonnet … and Other Literary Fast Breaks: How Poetry in America is Bringing Verse to the Small Screen,” is free and open to the public.

“New is a respected scholar in her field and a powerful voice for the humanities. We are pleased she will share her expertise with our students, staff, faculty and the wider community,” said UM President Seth Bodnar. “We are excited to learn from her efforts to bring poetry to a broad public audience.”

New teaches American literature at Harvard. She is the creator and host of her own television series, as well as a multiplatform digital initiative that brings poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world. In partnership with Harvard, the program offers free online courses for global learners, as well as for-credit and professional development courses for undergraduates, graduate students and educational practitioners.

Dozens of celebrities and politicians have assisted with the program, including Herbie Hancock, Katie Couric, Elena Kagan, Shaquille O’Neal, John McCain, Al Gore and Bill Clinton.

New earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1998 and came to Harvard in 1999. She is the author of several books, including “The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry.” Her online Harvard course is titled How to Read American Poetry.

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Contact: Paula Short, director of communications, UM Office of the President, 406-243-2311, paula.short@mso.umt.edu.