In this Open House event, inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander reads from her work. A Q&A session will follow the reading.
Alexander holds degrees from Yale, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her PhD. Currently the chair of African American Studies at Yale, Alexander is a highly respected teacher and mentor as well as a founding member of Cave Canem, an organization dedicated to promoting African-American poets and poetry. Her accomplishments within academia are numerous and include a Quantrelle Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the University of Chicago, and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard and the Alphonse Fletcher Foundation. Alexander’s career as a poet has likewise been impressive. Her book American Sublime (2005) was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, and in 2005 she was awarded the Jackson Poetry Prize. She is often recognized as a pivotal figure in African-American poetry. When Barack Obama asked her to compose and read a poem for his Presidential inauguration, she joined the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. Her poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” became a bestseller after it was published as a chapbook by Graywolf Press.
CTA trains: Chicago Red line stop; Chicago Brown line stop
CTA buses: #66 Chicago Avenue bus; #22 Clark Street bus
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery, and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative partnerships, prizes, and programs. Opened to the public in June 2011, the Poetry Foundation building in Chicago provides new space for the Foundation’s extensive roster of public programs and events. It also houses a public garden, a library, and an exhibition gallery, as well as the offices of the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine. For more information, please visit www.poetryfoundation.org.
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