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$3 Million Gifted for Yale’s First Chair in Poetry

By Harriet Staff

Yale_Fence_men_sitting_and_leaning_on_it_facing_Chapel_Street_New_Haven

The New York Times’s Arts Beat reports that Frederick Iseman, Yale alum and the founder and chief executive of private equity firm CI Capital Partners, has given $5 million to the school, partly to fund the first chair in poetry. More:

From his current gift, $2 million will be used to support [the Metropolitan Opera] program, which is administered by Yale’s School of Music. The remaining $3 million is earmarked for the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry Fund, which will support a recognized poet or poetry scholar.

Yale has not named the first holder of the chair, but the professorship comes with considerable leeway. The person selected can teach the poetry of any era, in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, ancient Greek or Latin.

“I wanted to put a stake in the ground and show support for the humanities at Yale,” Mr. Iseman said in a statement. He added that as a former English major, he believed that an endowed professorship of poetry was something the university needed, not least because Oxford has had one since 1708.

“The professorship,” Mr. Iseman said, “is very broad – it can cover the work of Chaucer, Dante, Catullus and Aeschylus, all the way to Akhmatova, Rilke, Lorca and Beckett. Yale has a surpassing commitment to the humanities, and I want to help that any way I can.”

Read it all at Arts Beat.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Harriet Staff.