The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced today that Yale poet and professor Elizabeth Alexander will read at the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama on January 20th. “>The Washington Post quotes Alexander: “I am obviously profoundly honored and thrilled… . Not only to have a chance to have some small part of this extraordinary moment in American history… . This incoming president of ours has shown in every act that words matter, that words carry meaning, that words carry power, that words are the medium with which we communicate across difference, and that words have tremendous possibilities and those possibilities are not empty.” Alexander recently discussed Barack Obama and American poetry on a Poetry Foundation podcast.
Elizabeth Alexander is the author of collections of poetry, including American Sublime (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Antebellum Dream Book, Body of Life, and The Venus Hottentot. A collection of essays, The Black Interior, was published by Graywolf in 2004. She is a professor in the African American Studies Program and the Department of English at Yale University. For more information about Alexander and her work visit: http://www.elizabethalexander.net/home.html.