Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and teacher born in New York City and raised in Washington, DC. Alexander has degrees from Yale University and Boston University and completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. She has published five books of poems, including The Venus Hottentot (1990), Body of Life (1996), Antebellum Dream Book (2001), and American Sublime (2005), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and an American Library Association's ""Notable Books of the Year."" Most recently she published her first young adult collection (co-authored with Marilyn Nelson), Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color (2008 Connecticut Book Award). Her two collections of essays are The Black Interior (2004) and Power and Possibility (2007). Alexander is also the 2007 winner of the first Jackson Prize for Poetry, awarded by Poets and Writers. She currently teaches in the Department African American Studies at Yale University.