Elizabeth Alexander was born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC. She is the author of six books of poems: Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990-2010 (Graywolf Press, 2012), American Blue (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), American Sublime (Graywolf Press, 2005, shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize), Antebellum Dream Book (Graywolf Press, 2001), Body of Life (Tia Chucha Press, 1997), and The Venus Hottentot (University Press of Virginia, 1990). She is also author of the memoir The Light of the World (Grand Central, 2015, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award), and the nonfiction books, Power and Possibility (University of Michigan Press, 2007), and The Black Interior (Graywolf Press, 2003). She edited collections of poems by Melvin Dixon and Gwendolyn Brooks, and co-wrote a book for young adults with Marilyn Nelson, Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color (Front Street Press, 2007). Alexander composed and read a poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” for the Presidential inauguration of Barak Obama. She is chancellor of the Academy of American Poets the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University, and a founding member of Cave Canem.