First 100 Days: Presidents’ Day

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As part of the First 100 Days events, English Prof Doug Green is organizing a multi-voice reading of Elizabeth Alexander’s “Praise Song for the Day” ( ), the poem Alexander composed for President Obama’s First Inauguration. But to do so we need voices–ideally people of as many different backgrounds as possible, because that is who “we” living in this country are.

Green is divvying up the stanzas to groups who want to read in unison. If you or faculty, staff, and/or students you know are interested, please contact him (MEM 223, x1187, He’ll assign you and your group a stanza. If you want to request one, that will work on a first-come, first-served basis for a while. This event will be impromptu in the sense that we’ve got one shot at it when we meet on the 20th. The 14th stanza and the additional final line all the participants and even willing auditors (there will be extra copies of the poem) are reading together.

We hope you’ll join us as participant and/or auditor. The reading will take place 12:15-12:30 pm on Monday, 20 Feb. (Presidents’ Day) in the OGC Atrium. People reading odd-numbered stanzas will do so from the balcony overlooking the Atrium and the even-numbered stanza readers will respond from the main floor. Readers have to project, but the acoustics are good: our voices will resonate–loudly, variously, messily, humanely!