She Walks in Beauty: A Women's Journey Through Poems
Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration
A stylish collectible edition of Elizabeth Alexander’s 2009 inaugural poem. This elegant chapbook is printed on uncoated stock, with a silver foil stamp, French flaps, and includes a complete author bio. A cherished reminder of this historic presidential event.
Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems, 1990-2010
This first career retrospective by Elizabeth Alexander gathers twenty pages of new poetry, including her inaugural poem “Praise Song for the Day,” along with generous selections from her previous work. The result is the most definitive volume to date by this American master.
Praise Song for the Day - Children's Book
Praise Song for the Day was commissioned for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. These inspiring words by award-winning poet Elizabeth Alexander celebrate all that has made America what it is today and challenge us—as individuals, as communities, as a nation—to continue working toward the dream of a better world for all.
Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color
Twenty-four sonnets tell the story of Prudence Crandall and her efforts to educate young African-American women in Canterbury, CT, 1833-1834. The school began as a boarding school for white girls; when two black women inquired about taking classes and Crandall agreed, the townspeople withdrew their daughters. As she accepted more black students, the town became more vocal in its resistance, poisoning the school water supply, refusing to sell it supplies, and charging Miss Crandall and others with a variety of "crimes."
Power and Possibility: Essays, Reviews, and Interviews
A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.
The book's first section, "Black Arts 101," takes up the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sterling Brown, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Rita Dove (among others); artist Romare Bearden; dancer Bill T. Jones; and dramatist August Wilson. A second section, "Black Feminist Thinking," provides engaging meditations ranging from "My Grandmother's Hair" and "A Very Short History of Black Women and Food" to essays on the legacies of Toni Cade, Audre Lorde, and June Jordan. The collection's final section, "Talking," includes interviews, a commencement address---"Black Graduation"---and the essay "Africa and the World."
American Blue: Selected Poems
The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks (American Poets Project)
Elizabeth Alexander edits this classic volume by the distinguished modern poet, winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, showcases an esteemed artist's technical mastery, her warm humanity, and her compassionate and illuminating response to a complex world.
With a scholarly grasp of personal, political, and private histories, Alexander's newest collection examines the African American experience, particularly during the nineteenth century, in poems about ancestry, language, religion, poetry, and art. The "Amistad" cycle is a potent account of the slave-ship rebellion and the kidnapped Africans' subsequent imprisonment. In a manner reminiscent of Kurosawa's film Rashomon, Alexander adroitly retells events from different points of view with a dramatic voice and carefully selected details. The "Amistad" poems are skillfully linked to persona and personal poems that reflect modern African American experiences, from being singled out in school, as in "Tina Green," to carefully responding to white authority figures, in "Smile." Alexander has a musical voice that shifts from jazz-quick to bluesy to soulful lamentation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the incredible poem "Notes From." Although many poems in the "Ars Poetica" sequence seem less cohesive, less melodious, and at times less poignant, the collection as a whole is a powerful contribution to American poetry.
The Venus Hottentot: Poems
"Readers owe themselves the many pleasures to be found in this book; Elizabeth Alexander creates intellectual magic in poem after poem." -- The New York Times Book Review
The Black Interior
Alexander, the author of three indelible poetry collections, including Antebellum Dream Book, now shares the aesthetic and intellectual wellspring from which her poems arise in a fresh and penetrating inquiry into African American creativity, or what she calls the "black interior." An exhilaratingly precise and mind-expanding essayist and critic, Alexander writes with striking insight about the poetry of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Michael Harper; the black arts movement; the paintings of Romare Bearden and Kerry James Marshall; and the films of Denzel Washington. In each finely structured essay, she shrewdly assesses the historical and social context within which black artists work and how "public and communal pressures" to create art that is of service to the black community "dramatically affect the choices" black artists make. Erudite, witty, and profound, Alexander also celebrates the influence of Jet magazine and considers the terrible fates and legacies of Emmett Till and Rodney King. This original and electrifying collection greatly enriches and extends understanding of African American culture and its essential role in American culture as a whole.
(Source: American Library Association)
Antebellum Dream Book
Her asymmetrical, confident short poems and sequences encompass, among other things, paintings and sculptures, riots and civil rights marches, childbirth and motherhood, rock concerts and dinner parties, dreams and chocolate bars, and African-American history, from the Middle Passage to Alexander's hometown: "I am from DC," she writes, "therefore responsible./ I am terrified of heights."
Body of Life: A Collection of Poems