Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher. She is the author of four books of poems, including The Venus Hottentot, and American Sublime, which was one of three finalists for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. She is also a scholar of African American literature and culture and recently published a collection of essays, The Black Interior. She has received many grants and honors, including the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship and the 2007 Jackson Prize for Poetry, awarded by Poets & Writers. She is a professor at Yale University, and was recently named the Inaugural Poet, only the fourth poet asked to read at a presidential inauguration.