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Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and teacher. She has published five books of poems: "The Venus Hottentot," "Body of Life," "Antebellum Dream Book," "American Sublime" (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and one of the American Library Association's Notable Books of the Year) and, most recently, her first young-adult collection (co-written with Marilyn Nelson), "Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color" (Front Street Press), which won the Connecticut Book Award. Her two collections of essays are "The Black Interior" and "Power and Possibility," and her play, "Diva Studies," was produced at the Yale School of Drama. She has also composed words for musical projects with composers Elana Ruehr and Lewis Spratlan. Last year she composed and delivered the poem "Praise Song for the Day" (Graywolf Press) for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Alexander is chair of African American Studies at Yale University and a 1992 National Endowment for the Arts fellow.