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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Alexander’

Poets Who Inspired Presidents

The Poetry Foundation has published “Poetic Presidents,” a study of 12 Presidents and “the poets that inspired them.”

Just in time for the election, the match-ups include George Washington and Phyllis Wheatley (the first African-American female to publish a book of poetry), John F. Kennedy and Robert Frost (the first poet to perform a reading at a presidential swearing in event) and Barack Obama and Elizabeth Alexander.

Here’s more from the article: “Politicians campaign in poetry and govern in prose, former New York governor Mario Cuomo once said. While it’s debatable whether this epically long and tumultuous election cycle has inspired much verse, we at the Poetry Foundation would like to think that poetry has its place at the White House regardless of who emerges as the victor on November 6.”

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Mediabistro Course

Women's Magazine Writing

Women's Magazine WritingPitch and publish in women's magazines with the health director of Family Circle! Starting September 30, Lynya Floyd will teach you how to wow editors with stories they want and need for their publications. You'll learn how to workshop pitch letters to endure editors will read them, master the voice and tone of women's magazines, find sources, and connect with other writers in the industry. Register now!

Maya Angelou Donates Personal Papers to the New York Public Library

Renowned poet Maya Angelou has donated 300 boxes filled with her personal papers to the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Angelou had this quote in the press release: “The Schomburg is a repository of the victories and the losses of the African American experience … I am grateful that it exists so that all the children, Black and White, Asian, Spanish-Speaking, Native American, and Aleutian can know there is a place where they can go and find the truth of the peoples’ history.”

The donation contains the notes for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and some of her most famous poems. One notable inclusion are the notes for the poem written at the request of former President Bill Clinton, On the Pulse of Morning. The video embedded above shows her reading it at Clinton’s 1993 inauguration. Several unpublished manuscripts and poems have also been included in the lot.

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The Bestselling Contemporary Poetry of 2009

18ebc05be912d9001e10c6ce757a5aa3.jpgGraywolf Press published the year’s top-selling poetry book, Elizabeth Alexander‘s presidential long poem: “Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration.”

Poetry Foundation compiled a list of the Bestselling Contemporary Poetry of 2009 list, a sales glimpse at a genre with a small, dedicated audience. Other titles on the bestseller list included “Endpoint and Other Poems” by John Updike.

Here’s an excerpt, along with links to more poetic bestsellers: “Every week, the Poetry Foundation compiles information from Nielsen Bookscan and puts together lists of the best selling books of poetry. There’s a list for books by contemporary poets, a list for anthologies, and a list for books of children’s poetry.”