Elisa New

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Elisa New (born 1958) is a Professor of English at Harvard University. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University (1980), as well as a M.A. and a Ph.D from Columbia University (1982 and 1988, respectively). Her interests include American poetry, American Literature-1900, Religion and Literature, and Jewish literature.[1] Before moving to Harvard, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

New is the creator and host of the television show Poetry in America.[2]

Early life[edit]

She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in Maryland.[3]


She had three daughters (Yael, Orli, and Maya) with her first husband, Fred David Levine, who died in 2013. Before living in Boston, the family resided in Miami, Florida. Mr. Levine was a long-time member of the professional staff of the Anti-Defamation League, serving in both the National and Florida Regional Offices.

On December 11, 2005, she married economist Lawrence Summers.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry. Cambridge University Press. 1993. ISBN 978-0-521-43021-0. 
  • The Line's Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight. Harvard University Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-674-53462-9. 
  • Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four lands of Lithuania to the Ports of Baltimore and London. Basic Books. 2009. ISBN 978-0-465-01525-2.