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Obama picks Yale Poet for Inauguration

"I'm completely thrilled and deeply, deeply honored," said Elizabeth Alexander.

Well I would be too! LOL.

What poet wouldn't be? Of allllll the talented poets, this black woman was hand-picked by President Obama to compose an original piece and read it for his inaguaration on Jan. 20th.

There have only been 3 poets to read at a presidential swearing in - Elizabeth makes the 4th. We all remember when Maya Angelou and Miller Williams read at Clinton's inauguration; and Robert Frost actually read for John F. Kennedy's.

But who is Elizabeth Alexander?

She's an African American Studies Professor at Yale University, 2007 winner of the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, author of several books, and 2005 Pulitzer Prize Finalist. But she's not just an accomplished writer, she's also close friends with our President. Elizabeth and Obama's friendship goes way back to the 90's when they both worked at the University of Chicago together.


"That friendship makes this opportunity all the more special," she said in article from the Associated Press (AP).

Now I love to write, but I can't imagine the pressure of composing a piece for Barack?!?!? Talk about dotting your i's and not forgetting the coma's! In fact, the AP article went on to say,

Alexander acknowledged the challenge before her...

"You're always trying to catch a rhythm," she said. "It's something I will be chipping away at every day."

And I found it interesting that former U.S. poet laureat Billy Collins had something to say about Elizabeth's task......he apparently expressed that she has her work cut out for her.

According to the AP, "I don't envy her," Collins wrote in an e-mail. "Such poems are nearly impossible to bring off. Because of the heaviness of the subject the risk is that you will end up under it rather than on top. I wish her well and I'm certainly glad Obama is making room for a poet."

Right....sounds like hateration to me, Mr. Collins.

But this is exciting! I can't wait to hear what she comes up with and see her on inauguration day!

3 comments:

ash said...

that's a heavy honor.....real heavy!! sort of like having this dream to protect and serve your country, and then being asked to man the front line....or something like that....lol!

Chakita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chakita said...

That is a hugh honor given to Ms. Alexander! I know she will spit something that will go in history books. If she is one of Barack's friends, I'm sure she has something meaningful to say.