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Elisa New is the Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature at Harvard University where she teaches classic American literature from Anne Bradstreet through Marilynne Robinson and from the Puritans to the present day. She is the author of New England Beyond Criticism: In Defense of America's First Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 1992), and 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 (2009). Her current project, How to Read American Poetry, is forthcoming from Wiley-Blackwell (2015).


Leah Reis-Dennis is a Lead Course Developer at HarvardX, focusing on the production of Poetry in America.  She graduated from Harvard in 2013, where she studied American History and Literature with Elisa New, among others. Leah is also a singer/songwriter, and just released an EP of original soul music.

John North Radway teaches and writes about poetry in the broad context of modern and postmodern American literature and culture. He is finishing a dissertation at Harvard about the fate of epic in twentieth-century poetry, examining the afterlife of an ancient literary tradition amid the turbulent literary and social climate of the past hundred years. A graduate of Amherst College, he writes novels and poetry of his own when he thinks no one’s looking. 

Calista McRae is a PhD student in English at Harvard; her dissertation is about humor of language and style in recent American poetry. After graduating from Amherst College in 2009, she spent a year traveling on a Watson Fellowship, writing about ruins, abandoned buildings, and other subjects about as funny as recent American poetry. 

Adrienne Raphel is a PhD candidate at Harvard, where she studies poetics and the history of the English language. She is a graduate of Princeton and received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Lana Turner and Boston Review, among other publications; she is also a contributor for the New Yorker online.