After obtaining degrees from Yale University and Boston University, Alexander completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently teaches at Yale, where she serves as the chair of the Department of African American Studies.
The daughter of a civil rights adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Alexander is following in her father's footsteps. She is the first recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship for work that "contributes to improving race relations in American Society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown-v-Board of Education decision of 1954."
Best known for her poetry, Alexander has been described as one of the most exciting poets currently speaking for contemporary literature. Her poetry has been published internationally and has a style that not only reflects 20th century traditions, but also presents groundbreaking contemporary techniques.
Alexander read her poem "Praise Song for the Day" at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, 2009, becoming one of just four poets to read at an American presidential inauguration. She has also published five books of poems, including American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and was one of the American Library Association's "Notable Books of the Year."
The Witt Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, reserve a Series poster, or become a friend of the Witt Series, contact Jeannine Fox at (937) 327-7470 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Written by: Jennifer Dick '10
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