Inaugural poetess and Professor of African-American Studies at Yale Elizabeth Alexander is sitting down with Big Think today. She helped ring in the Obama presidency with her poem, “Praise Song for the Day” on January 20, 2009 in front of the audience of a million.
Alexander has a teaching career that spans nearly twenty years. She has mentored young poets at the University of Chicago, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Smith and Haverford.
She is the first recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship for “work that furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954.” She has authored five collections of verse, including American Sublime which was a Pulitzer finalist in 2005. Alexander once wrote in an essay, “the distillation of language in poetry, its precision, can help us see sharply in the midst of many conundrums.” It doesn’t get much better than that for times like these.
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