There was no poet at the inaugurations of George W. Bush but Barack Obama is returning to the tradition started by John F. Kennedy who famously asked Robert Frost to share the stage with him in January of 1961. Obama's choice for inaugural poet: Elizabeth Alexander.
Alexander may not be a household name but in the world of poetry her credentials shine bright. Today many in the literary world are reacting positively to Obama's choice.
Alexander, who was born in Harlem in 1965, teaches at Yale. She has published four volumes of poetry, including "American Sublime" which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 2006. She is also the author of two collections of essays. Last year, she won the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize.
She and Obama both taught at the University of Chicago in the 1990s.