"Poetry is something many of us seem to be hungry for these days. We're hungry for fresh ways to tell hard truths and redemptive stories, for language that would elevate and embolden rather than demean and alienate. Elizabeth Alexander shares her sense of what poetry works in us — and in our children — and why it may become more relevant, not less so, in hard and complicated times."
Elizabeth Alexander is a poet and professor of African American Studies at Yale University. She composed and delivered her poem "Praise Song for the day" for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Her most recent book is Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010.
Alexander was delightful when she appeared on The Stephen Colbert Showthe day after the inauguration and explained the difference between a metaphor and a lie.
I love to play with words. To capture moments on the page. To explore the physical and spiritual geography of what I call "fly-over country." I write from imagination, observation and my own experience of wandering in fly-over country--the literal, physical spaces of my life on the Minnesota prairie and the inner territory of the soul.
I teach writing and serve as the director of the Creative Writing Program at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota. I enjoy cooking and traveling with my husband Jim, reading, practicing yoga, playing tennis, biking, hiking and gardening.