Kwame Alexander

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  • New York Times Best-Selling Author, Poet, and Educator


Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, a publishing imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt whose mission is to "Change the World One Word at a Time.”

Twice long-listed for the National Book Award, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Newbery Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the Penn State Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. 

He has appeared in or on: The Today Show, Comedy Central, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, and ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporations, educational institutions, commencements, and annual organization conferences such as Hallmark, Writer’s Digest, Teachers College Columbia University, and The International Literacy Association. 

Kwame has led cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.

 

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Virtual News Interview - Favorite Black history titles, from children's books to classics | Today Show [5:27] - Get Sharable Link
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Light for the World to See

A Talk and Performance on the quintessential American bullet points of Race, Racism, and Hope. ...

A Talk and Performance on the quintessential American bullet points of Race, Racism, and Hope.

Say Yes

Kwame shares stories from overcoming the NOs—winning the most prestigious children’s book award in America after five years of rejections from publishers—to dreaming the impossible—building a library and health clinic in Ghana, and everything in between—all by saying YES, to himself. ...

Kwame shares stories from overcoming the NOs—winning the most prestigious children’s book award in America after five years of rejections from publishers—to dreaming the impossible—building a library and health clinic in Ghana, and everything in between—all by saying YES, to himself.

The Playbook: #BasketballRules for Life

Sports is a great metaphor for life. It is about how we prepare for the games in our fantastic and messy lives. In these games we decide who the best players are to assist us, and we test our skills on the court of life to help determine who we really are and what is most important to each of us. ...

Sports is a great metaphor for life. It is about how we prepare for the games in our fantastic and messy lives. In these games we decide who the best players are to assist us, and we test our skills on the court of life to help determine who we really are and what is most important to each of us.

Be Constructive with Your Blues

A talk on facing your fears, finding your voice, standing up for what’s right, and taking whatever situation you are faced with and making something constructive happen with it. Making your blues beautiful. ...

A talk on facing your fears, finding your voice, standing up for what’s right, and taking whatever situation you are faced with and making something constructive happen with it. Making your blues beautiful.

The Writerly Life

A bit of conversation, and a splash of performance as Kwame shares what he’s learned from reading and writing poetry and children’s books. ...

A bit of conversation, and a splash of performance as Kwame shares what he’s learned from reading and writing poetry and children’s books.

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<p>Poet and Novelist Kwame Alexander offers <em>a thousand words on race and hope</em> in his latest lyric work</p>

Poet and Novelist Kwame Alexander offers a thousand words on race and hope in his latest lyric work

Award-winning novelist and poet KWAME ALEXANDER writes to inspire his readers, often young adults and children, to face the world boldly and strive to create the type of world in which they wish to live. Often using sports and music as entry points for his stories, and often writing in a lyrical, poetic style, Alexander is a favorite speaker among school groups, colleges, and youth development programs. The most recent of his 30+ books is titled Light for the World to See, and is a powerful and provocative collection of poems that cut to the heart of the entrenched racism and oppression in America and eloquently explores ongoing events. A book in the tradition of James Baldwin’s “A Report from Occupied Territory,” Light for the World to See is a rap session on race. A lyrical response to the struggles of Black lives in our world . . . to America’s crisis of conscience . . . to the centuries of loss, endless resilience, and unstoppable hope.

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Biography

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, a publishing imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt whose mission is to "Change the World One Word at a Time.”

Twice long-listed for the National Book Award, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Newbery Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the Penn State Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. 

He has appeared in or on: The Today Show, Comedy Central, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, and ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporations, educational institutions, commencements, and annual organization conferences such as Hallmark, Writer’s Digest, Teachers College Columbia University, and The International Literacy Association. 

Kwame has led cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.