The On Being Project

Elizabeth Alexander
Elizabeth Alexander

is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and the inaugural Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. She's the author of a new memoir, The Light of the World. She's also the author of several books of essays and poetry including Crave Radiance.

Three Poems from “Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color”

Listen to Ms. Alexander recite this poem with and without music. Which one do you like better?

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“Translator (James Covey)”

Listen to Ms. Alexander recite this poem with and without music. Which one do you like better?

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“Praise Song for the Day”

An excerpt of the poem Ms. Alexander read at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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“Autumn Passage”

Listen to Ms. Alexander recite this poem with and without music. Which one do you like better? In our show she reads this after “Neonatology” and surprises herself with the appropriateness of the pairing.

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“Autumn Passage”

“Neonatology”

The last poem of a longer work, Ms. Alexander puts this together with her poem “Autumn Passage” as an example of having those experiences of giving birth and the privilege of sitting with one near the end of life.

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“Neonatology”

“One Week Later in the Strange”

In this poem, Ms. Alexander says that the late Lucille Clifton informed her fluid approach to “a very deep kind of ancestral understanding… that moves us into the future.” Includes the audio of the poet reading her work.

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“One Week Later in the Strange”

Praise Song for the Day

An ode from Elizabeth Alexander to the spaces words fill between us, and to the path they light forward to a transcendent and unifying love.

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Praise Song for the Day

“Ars Poetica #100: I Believe”

Listen to Ms. Alexander recite this poem with and without music. Which one do you like better?

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