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Elizabeth Alexander (Courtesy Photo)

Elizabeth Alexander, known for writing and reading her original poem “Praise Song for the Day” at President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, was appointed the first Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.

The position is the first endowed professorship at Yale dedicated entirely to the field of poetry.

Alexander has taught courses on African-American poetry, drama, and 20th-century literature and culture at Yale since 2000. She also served as the chair of the African American Studies Department for four years. Alexander previously taught at the University of Chicago.

Alexander is the author of six collections of poetry; a new memoir entitled ‘The Light of the World” is due in April.

Alexander earned her undergraduate degree from Yale before earning a master’s degree at Boston University and a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

Among Alexander’s achievements, awards, and titles including being named Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets; the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, the first Jackson Prize for Poetry; a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship; three Pushcart Prizes; the George Kent Prize for Poetry; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Chicago; and being the first recipient of the Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship for work that “contributes to improving race relations in American society and furthers the broad social goals of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.”