Read Smoke!

Read Smoke!
My latest book, "Smoke: poems of love, longing and ecstasy" is available for purchase on Amazon in e-book and paperback. Click book for link.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dr. Elizabeth Alexander Named Inaugural Poet

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced this week that Dr. Elizabeth Alexander, a poet, author, and Professor of African-American studies at Yale University will be the praise poet featured at President Elect Barack Obama's Inauguration. She will be the fourth poet to read at swearing-in. Robert Frost was the first at JFK's inauguration in 1961. And who can forget Maya Angelou's 1993 reading of "On the Pulse of the Morning" for President Clinton? It's featured below.

Now I'm elated because Professor Alexander is a former professor of mine and one of my favorites. Her class was deep and she believed in my work. I'm so proud of her! For a poet, this is really our nation's top honor. Congratulations!

She has authored poems, plays, essays, and short stories in addition to having molded hundreds of bright young minds. In 2005 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. To learn more about Dr. Alexander, visit her website.

Here is a selection.

Ars Poetica #28: African Leave-Taking Disorder

The talk is good. The two friends linger
at the door. Urban crickets sing with them.

There is no after the supper and talk.
The talk is good. These two friends linger

at the door, half in, half out, ‘til one
decides to walk the other home. And so

they walk, more talk, the new doorstep, the
nightgowned wife who shakes her head and smiles

from the bedroom window as the men talk
in love and the crickets sing along.

The joke would be if the one now home
walked the other one home, where they started,

to keep talking, and so on: “African
Leave-Taking Disorder,” which names her children

everywhere trying to come back together and talk.