In 2009 at President Barack Obama's first inauguration, Elizabeth Alexander read a poem she wrote for the occasion called "Praise Song for the Day". It was a high point in her celebrated career as a poet, essayist, playwright, and academic. She has published many books of poetry and prose, she taught at Yale for many years, and now she's teaching at Columbia, in New York City, where she was born. In 2012 her husband suddenly and unexpectedly died, and her memoir, The Light of the World, is a moving portrayal of openhearted love.
Debbie talks to Elizabeth about the journey of her extraordinary life and how death makes us think about what we truly value. “If we’re all going to die, what is the meaningfulness of life? We can’t just do it for the things that make our bodies feel good in a day.”