Russell Fraser’s first work to appear in the Sewanee Review—a piece on Renaissance literature titled "The Poet as Sciolist”—was in the Summer 1967 issue.
Fraser, who grew up in Brooklyn, earned his BA from Dartmouth and his PhD from Harvard. He served as a well-loved professor of English at the University of Michigan from 1967 to his retirement in 1995, where he created a course that used Shakespeare as a means of teaching introductory writing. Indeed, Fraser’s greatest focus as critic was on Shakespeare—he published 20 books and numerous critical essays, many with a focus on Renaissance literature. He also had an interest in modern poetry: he published essays in the Sewanee Review about Frost, Eliot, and two modern Scottish poets, Edwin Muir and George Mackay Brown. Towards the end of his life he began to write with a special emphasis on travel—his last book, about his travels, is titled Sojourner in Islamic Lands.
The Sewanee Review is grateful to have been visited by Russell Fraser—his clear, easy prose will be missed.