Did you listen to that lovely poem by Elizabeth Alexander at President Obama's inauguration? It was one of four such poems written and read at an inauguration. The others were at John Kennedy's (Robert Frost), Bill Clinton's (Maya Angelou, 1993, and Miller Williams, 1997).
We hope that this is a demonstration of support for the arts in this nation. She was not asked to submit the poem for review prior to the event. When the nation heard the poem, it was the first time for all of us, including our new president.
Oh, and Elizabeth Alexander has benefited from an artists residency at Yaddo (though did not write this particular poem while in residence as far as I know). Residencies support artists by providing them with the time and space to create new work.
Listen to an NPR interview with Alexander.