Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. Alexander has degrees from Yale University and Boston University and completed her PhD in English at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, she composed and delivered “Praise Song for the Day” for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. The poem has recently been published as a small book from Graywolf Press. In addition, she has published five books of poems: The Venus Hottentot (1990), Body of Life (1996), Antebellum Dream Book (2001), American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Associations Notable Books of the Year; and her first young adult collection (co-authored with Marilyn Nelson), Miss Crandalls School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color (2008 Connecticut Book Award). Her two collections of essays are The Black Interior (2004) and Power and Possibility (2007), and her play, Diva Studies, was produced at the Yale School of Drama.