Elizabeth Alexander


The Light of the World:
A Memoir

Co-sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library and Mass Poetry

with an introduction by FLORENCE LADD

This event is free, but RSVPs are requested

This event includes a book signing


April 30, 2015
7:00 PM
(Doors at 6:30)


Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138


Free - RSVP Requested

Harvard Book Store and the Cambridge Public Library welcome Pulitzer Prize finalist and inaugural poet ELIZABETH ALEXANDER for a reading of her memoir, The Light of the World, featuring an introduction by renowned scholar and writer FLORENCE LADD.

In The Light of the World, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the resulting void, and finding solace in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss.

The Light of the World is both an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares about what matters most, The Light of the World is required reading.

"This is a beautifully written, heartrendingly candid account of the abrupt loss of her husband by the distinguished poet Elizabeth Alexander. It is a vivid, intensely rendered elegy of a remarkable man--husband, father, artist, chef. Both a memoir and a portrait of a marriage, The Light of the World is, as its title suggests, a bittersweet testament to love and the memory of love, one of the most compelling memoirs of loss that I have ever read." —Joyce Carol Oates 

Elizabeth Alexander
Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander composed and recited "Praise Song for the Day" for President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. She is the author of six books of poetry—including American Sublime, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize—and is the first winner of the Jackson Prize for Poetry and a National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim fellow. She is the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies at Yale University.

Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Florence Ladd
Florence Ladd

Florence Ladd

Florence Ladd, writer, psychologist, and social critic, is the director of Radcliffe College's Bunting Institute, renowned as the largest and most unique multidisciplinary center of advanced studies for women scholars, artists, and activists. For many years she has studied gender and social issues, housing and urban development, and conditions that influence the status of black women in the United States and abroad. Ladd served as the associate executive director for Oxfam American prior to joining Radcliffe. She has taught at Simmons College, Robert College, the American College of Girls in Istanbul, and Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Design. She was associate dean of M.I.T.'s School of Architecture and Planning and later Dean of Students at Wellesley College. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Admission is free but registration is requested. If capacity is reached, priority will go to those who have RSVP’d. RSVPs only guarantee a seat until 5 minutes before the event begins.

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

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Event Co-Sponsor(s)

Cambridge Public Library: http://www.cambridgema.gov/cpl.aspx

Mass Poetry: http://www.masspoetry.org/

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General Info
(617) 661-1515

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