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More Kwame Alexander

posted May 24, 2012, 6:43 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated May 24, 2012, 6:44 AM by rcase@wbschools.org ]
 May 24, 2012
Monday, I posted this about Kwame Alexander's new picture book, Acoustic Rooster.   With fourteen books published, though, one can see that the picture book was only a tiny facet of a great presentation.  Each time I see Kwame, I am more impressed.  I have previously written about a presentation he gave a couple of years ago at the L.I.L.A.C. conference:

Three people who love reading, Sue, Diane and I, joined Carol at the LILAC/NRC conference on April 24, 2009. The keynote speakers were Kwame Alexander and Irene Fountas, and the opportunity to hear them speak made the whole day worthwhile.


We’ve been so fortunate to have Kwame visit our school, motivate our students and conduct collegial circles, that it was no surprise to any of us when he brought the same infectious enthusiasm to his professional-development presentation. He shared poems from his book,Crush, billed as the first collection of love poems for the YA market. I was dumbfounded to read that nobody else has published a book of love poems aimed at young adults. Surely, there must be some mistake. What else are young adults more wrapped up in than thoughts of their own, first, romantic angst? What topic could be more motivating for teens to read, appreciate and enjoy poetry?


In Monday's presentation, Kwame spoke of his "Philosophy of Saying 'Yes'."  He shared that each time he was faced with a challenge he said, "Yes," and figured it out later.  Asked if he would like to write a poem for an anthology; he said, "Yes."  (It led to publication with a major New York publishing house.)  Asked if he could help students publish a book in a day; he said, "Yes."  (It led to his Book in a Day  business.)  Asked if he ever thought of writing a picture book, (he hadn't) he said, "Yes."  (It led to Acoustic Rooster  and an NAACP Image Award Nomination.)


I am embracing his philosophy of saying, "Yes" to challenges.   Who knows where it could lead?


Happy reading and writing,



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