Elizabeth Alexander, newly named as the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry, is a noted poet, essayist, and scholar of African-American poetry, drama, and 20th-century literature.
The Frederick Iseman Professorship is the first endowed chair at Yale dedicated solely to the field of poetry. Iseman is chair and chief executive officer of CI Capital Partners LLC, which he founded in 1993. When he made the donation for the chair, Iseman said, “I wanted to put a stake in the ground to show support for the humanities at Yale. … I am grateful for [President Peter Salovey’s] strong support of my view, as a former English major, that having an endowed professorship of poetry will fill a pivotal place in the academic roster of the humanities at Yale. Oxford has had one since 1708. We speak Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Yeats, and Eliot every day without knowing it. Having a great poet like Penn Warren, W.H. Auden, Robert Graves, or Seamus Heaney in residence can galvanize a campus.”
Iseman established the post in honor of his class’ 40th reunion.
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