MTSD Equity Practices: Kwame Alexander
Kwame Alexander is an award-winning author, poet, publisher, radio correspondent, educator, and speaker. He has authored 35 books which have received high praise from the publishing community and rave reviews from the readers of children’s books. Several of his books have been awarded the Newbery Medal and have been short-listed for the prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal, and long-listed for the National Book Award. Alexander writes books for children of all ages and works with illustrators to make his books come to life for readers. His book The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, was “written for and about the swift and sweet ones/who hurdled history and opened a world of possible, for those who survived America by any means necessary. And the ones who didn’t.” It is a collection of stories about unforgettable Black American figures who can inspire readers of all ages.
In addition to his numerous book awards, Alexander has been recognized for The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. A true, modern-day Renaissance man, Alexander hosts a radio show on NPR, co-founded an international literacy program in his ancestral homeland of Ghana, and is the founding editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time.
Kwame Alexander offers creative writing workshops to children and has authored several books to help teachers teach creative writing. He advises student writers to read, stating “learn what other writers have done right and wrong. This will help you find your own voice.” Of his 35 books, three of them were written in a chair next to a fireplace at his neighborhood Panera Bread.
If you’re interested in learning more, follow him on Twitter @kwamealexander.