Elizabeth Alexander

Poet; Director of Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation; Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

Elizabeth Alexander is director of creativity and free expression at the Ford Foundation and Wun Tsun Tam Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. She has taught at University of Chicago, New York University’s graduate creative writing program, and Smith College, where she was a poet in residence and directed the Poetry Center. Alexander was on Yale’s faculty for 15 years, chairing its African American Studies Department. She’s the author of six books of poetry, including 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist American Sublime. Among her honors are grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and NEA, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Videos/Audio of Elizabeth Alexander

The Afternoon of Conversation is the Aspen Ideas Festival's signature event and hosts an audience of 2,000 in the... See more
During this factious time in history, the founder of StoryCorps shares what he’s learned from the 400,000 participants... See more
Two of America’s most powerful poetic voices join with the Aspen Student Poets to explore how their art can tackle some... See more
Our signature event, the Afternoon of Conversation will host an audience of more than 2,000 in the Benedict Music Tent... See more
Memoir can be a powerful tool for grappling with the most challenging moments of our lives. Elizabeth Alexander’s new... See more
Playwright, performer Anna Deavere Smith interviews 2009 Presidential Inaugural poet and scholar Elizabeth Alexander. See more