In non Rick Warren news: Yale University Professor of African-American studies and Pulitzer Prize finalist Elizabeth Alexander has been selected to write and read a poem for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony on January 20.

Alexander, who met Obama during their time as faculty members at the University of Chicago, is thrilled at the opportunity, and says that her parents are even more excited: "This is an incomparable thrill to them in the way that Obama's presidency is an especially potent and powerful thing for African-Americans in their 70s who have devoted their lives to progress," Alexander says, "To be a part of it, I almost can't imagine it myself."


Alexander follows Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, and Miller Williams as the only poets to read at inauguration ceremonies; she says she hopes, through her poem, "to symbolize and demonstrate is the important role that arts and literature can play in this moment when the country is thinking so keenly about moving forward and coming together." As for her friendship with Obama, Alexander notes, "That friendship makes this opportunity all the more special."

Yale Poet Prepares For Inauguration [AP]