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Book Title

Crave Radiance

New and Selected Poems 1990-2010
Author 1
Elizabeth Alexander
We crave radiance in this austere world,
light in the spiritual darkness.
Learning is the one perfect religion,
its path correct, narrow, certain, straight.

—from “Allegiance”

Over twenty years, Elizabeth Alexander has become one of America’s most exciting and important poets, and her selection as the inaugural poet by President Obama confirmed her place as one of the indispensable voices of our time. Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems 1990–2010 gathers twenty pages of new poetry, along with generous selections from her previous work. The result is the definitive volume to date by this American master.

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The first career retrospective by the award-winning poet Elizabeth Alexander, including her poem delivered at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration

About the Author

Elizabeth  Alexander
Credit: CJ Gunther
Elizabeth Alexander is the author of five previous books of poetry including American Sublime, a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. She is also the author of a memoir, The Light of the World, and two books of essays, including The Black Interior. On January 20, 2009, she delivered her poem “Praise Song for the Day” at the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She has received the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award in Poetry, the Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellowship, and the Jackson Poetry Prize. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the director of creativity and free expression at the Ford Foundation, and the Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.
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  • Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
  • “Elizabeth Alexander is an erudite and knowledgeable guide who draws on dark days and light, both personal and historical, to clearly demonstrate some of what it is, and has been, as a black woman in America.”New York Journal of Books
  • “Alexander brings intellectual power, musicality, sensuousness, and vernacular immediacy to her lyrics. . . . Storyteller, teacher, and poet, Alexander looks deeply within and speaks out with grace and power.”—Booklist
  • Crave Radiance more than deserves its place in any poetry or literature collection.”—The Midwest Book Review
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