Apr 17, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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U.S. President Barack Obama says poetry helps people understand themselves – and each other – and he says the world would be “pretty barren” without it.

Obama celebrated National Poetry Month at the White House today Friday by inviting student poets to a workshop and reading by American poet Elizabeth Alexander.

They once taught together at the University of Chicago – and she read one of her poems at Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

The President says poetry matters as much as any other art form – because “it provides texture to human life.”

Alexander now teaches at Yale. She read from her newly released memoir, “The Light of the World,” which she wrote after the unexpected death of her husband.

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