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African American Women Writers

Born in New York, Elizabeth Alexander grew up in Washington D.C., and attended the universities of Boston, Pennsylvania, and Yale, where she is now Professor of African-American Studies. In 2009 she read a poem at the inauguration of President Obama, ‘Praise Song for the Day’, included in Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf, 2010). She is a member of the Cave Canem group.The Venus Hottentot introduced Alexander’s essayistic mix of dramatic and autobiographical poems on the history of ‘a strange thing … “race”’, from a description of her first year as a black female student in Boston to the affirmative ‘A Poem for Nelson Mandela’. Her later collections are Body of LifeAntebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime, which includes the sequences ‘Ars Poetica’ and ‘Amistad’. The Black Interior, a collection of her writings on African-American culture, includes essays on Langston HughesGwendolyn Brooks, and Michael Harper

Genre: Autobiographies and memoirs; Family and relationships; Government and politics; Life stories; Poetry

More about Elizabeth Alexander at ProQuest One Literature

By Elizabeth Alexander 

About Elizabeth Alexander