In Conversation: Newbery Medalist, Kwame Alexander

Kwame bus tour Rebound CCPL

  • Start: April 11, 2018 6:00 pm
  • End: April 11, 2018 7:00 pm

867 Mount Vernon Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Tickets Available: Price: $Free Admission

Join the conversation with author Kwame Alexander and County Commissioner Kevin Boyce at The King Arts Complex on Kwame’s new book Rebound, how he’s engaging boys on and off the court, and how today’s youth are using the power of words to influence change.

Kwame Alexander offers youth the opportunity to examine and imagine their place in the world, both literally and figuratively through the simplest of words. Rebound is part of a wave of literature that’s expanding the scope of multi-cultural narratives.

You may recognize Kwame Alexander’s name from his ESPN viral protest poem video “Take a Knee,” his appearance on Comedy Central, or as a regular commentator on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” You may have even read the recent New York Times article announcing that Alexander will begin publishing books under his own imprint, Versify, at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers.

Three time NAACP Image Award Nominee, and two time winner of the prestigious Coretta Scott King Award, Kwame Alexander is a godsend who is lifting the self-esteem of African American children in America and children of color around the world. He’s giving young men and women reasons to believe in themselves and their own capacity for learning.

Alexander took the literary world by surprise with his 2015 Newbery Award-winning, The Crossover, a sports novel written in verse. This unlikely blend of sports and poetry turned thousands of readers into poetry lovers. The synthesis of sports and poetry was so unlikely, it was rejected by 20 top publishers before becoming a New York Times bestseller. Alexander was able to do something fresh and new by using the energy of poetry to mirror the energy of basketball.

By now, you would think that adults would get the natural connection between the rhythm of rap with the rhythm of poetry, surprisingly they still do not. While grown- ups steer kids away from poetry because they think that kids will not be interested, kids are behind the scenes discussing verse in similar fashion to their analysis of rap lyrics.

Rebound (in stores April 2nd) the follow-up to The Crossover, takes Alexander’s high impact style of poetry to new heights to start National Poetry Month. Alexander’s unique style is kinetic and vibrant. In his novels he deploys evocative vocabulary, and mastery of haiku, rhythm, rhyme, acrostics, malapropism, and blackout poems to channel anger, confusion, and humor of boys trying to understand their changing worlds.