Kwame Alexander


Featured Speaker

Saturday, June 29: 1:00PM―2:00PM PT

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Feature Speaker: Kwame Alexander, ALA Annual San Diego, June 27 – July 2, 2024


Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, producer, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author of 39 books, including “Why Fathers Cry at Night,” “An American Story,” “The Door of No Return,” “Becoming Muhammad Ali” (co-authored with James Patterson), “Rebound,” which was shortlisted for the prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, and “The Undefeated,” the National Book Award nominee, Newbery Honor, and Caldecott Medal-winning picture book, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. He is also the executive producer, showrunner, and Emmy-winning writer of “The Crossover” TV series, based on his Newbery Medal-winning novel of the same name, which premiered on Disney+ in April 2023. The series was produced in partnership with LeBron James' SpringHill Company and Big Sea Entertainment, Alexander’s production company, dedicated to creating innovative, highly original children’s and family entertainment. Other current projects in development at Big Sea include “America’s Next Great Author,” the groundbreaking reality television series for writers. A regular contributor to “NPR’s Morning Edition,” Alexander is the creator and host of the “Why Fathers Cry” podcast, premiering September 2023, featuring conversations about love, parenting, and loss, with fathers and sons.

Alexander will discuss his new book, “Black Star,” available September 2024. Set during the turbulent segregation era and the beginning of The Great Migration, the second book in the #1 New York Times bestselling “The Door of No Return” trilogy stars Kofi’s granddaughter, Charley, as a baseball phenom with big dreams in a spellbinding story of struggle, determination, and the unflappable faith of an American family.

Alexander regularly shares his passion for literacy, books, and the craft of writing around the world at events like the Chautauqua Lecture Series, the Edinburgh Book Festival, Aspen Ideas, and the Global Literacy Symposium in Ghana, where he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic. Most recently he was appointed the Rudell Artistic Director of Literary Arts and Writer-in-Residence at the Chautauqua Institution. His mission is to change the world, one word at a time.

Black Star book cover by Kwame Alexander

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