Congratulations to Poet Elizabeth Alexander--the Inaugural Poet for Barack Obama!

I am pleased to announce the great news that Elizabeth Alexander--poet, essayist, activist, and good friend--has been chosen to read poetry at the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, on January 20, 2009. She will be only the fourth poet to ever read at the inauguration of a US president--she's in good company with Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, and Miller Williams.

Ms. Alexander will be joining on stage the incomparable Aretha Franklin, civil rights leader Joseph E. Lowery, and classical musicians Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. I send the most heart-felt congratulations--she is most deserving.

Ms. Alexander is a long-time friend of mine from our Chicago days (she now teaches at Yale University). And she was published by the press I founded in Chicago, Tia Chucha Press. Her book, "Body of Life," is one of our best sellers. To commemorate this distinction, we will re-publish Ms. Alexander's book (they are already sold out). Ms. Alexander was also a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize last year.

2009 is going to be a good year for Tia Chucha Press. For one thing, along with Ms. Alexander's honor, another of our best-selling authors, Patricia Smith, was a nominee for the National Book Award for Poetry. Another nominee for the same prize was one of TCP's former editors, Reginald Gibbons. And 2009 will be our 20th anniversary of creating some of the best cross-cultural poetry anywhere.

We recently published the work of Susan D. Anderson ("Nostalgia for a Trumpet") and Luivette Resto ("Unfinished Portrait"). Ms. Resto's book was the top ten pick of Amazon's Latino books for fall 2008. And she was chosen on the Marcela Landres online book list as one of the best Latino books for 2008.

In April, we will publish the phenomenal poetry of Linda Rodriguez (no relation) of Kansas entitled "Heart's Migration." We will also have a special 20th Anniversary Reading on January 31, Saturday, at our parent center, Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural. Both Susan D. Anderson and Luivette Resto will read along with yours truly.

Look out for other events/parties for Tia Chucha Press, including in Chicago where Tia Chucha Press was born. Our efforts will include ads, press releases, and a number of other promotional ideas. You can order Tia Chucha Press books at www.tiachucha.com or from our distributor, Northwestern University Press at nupress@northwestern.edu or call 1-800-621-2736.

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