After a hiatus of more than a decade, poetry is returning to the inauguration of the American president.
The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced today that Elizabeth Alexander, a prize-winning poet at Yale University who grew up in Washington, will read at the swearing in next month of President-elect Barack Obama.
Elizabeth Alexander. (Courtesy photo.)
Alexander, 45, would be only the fourth poet to read at a swearing in after Frost, who read at John F. Kennedy’s in 1961; Maya Angelou, who read at Clinton’s in 1993; and Miller Williams, who read in 1997, according to government officials.
She is the author of four books of poems, The Venus Hottentot, Body of Life, Antebellum Dream Book, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.
You can read a selection of Alexander's poems on her web site