Elisa New

Elisa (Lisa) New is the Creator and Host of Poetry in America, the Director of Verse Video Education, and the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University, where she teaches courses in classic American literature from the Puritans through the present day.

Since 2013, New has been producing educational materials on American poetry for tens of thousands of global learners of all ages. New created Poetry in America, a public television series and educational initiative, to encourage engagement with American poetry beyond the art’s existing academic audience. Poetry in America guest interpreters have included Shaquille O’Neal, Bono, Cynthia Nixon, Nas, Joe Biden, Herbie Hancock, Elena Kagan, Robert Pinsky, Sonia Sanchez, Bill Clinton, John McCain, Li-Young Lee, Samantha Power, exonerated prisoners, clergy members, pickup basketball players, young campers at a wildlife preserve, and many more.

New is the author of The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1992); The Line’s Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight (Harvard University Press, 1999); Jacob’s Cane: A Jewish Family’s Journey from the Four Lands of Lithuania to the Ports of London and Baltimore: A Memoir in Five Generations (Basic Books, 2009); and New England Beyond Criticism: In Defense of America’s First Literature, A Wiley Blackwell Manifesto (Wiley Blackwell 2014). Her current book project is How to Read American Poetry, a companion text to the various projects embraced by the multi-platform Poetry in America initiative, to be published by Wiley Blackwell.