November 30th, 2020

The Joy of Poetry

Week Five: Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator and New York Times bestselling author, who has won numerous awards including the Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children. Other of his many books (he’s written 35!) include his brilliant coming of age novel Rebound (published by Andersen Press). Kwame is the Founding Editor of Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time.

The Crossover

This story, about twelve year old Josh and his twin Jordan, is a joyful and dynamic celebration of language. A novel told in verse, with striking illustrations, this book is about basketball and much more: as they progress into young adulthood, navigating the pressures of home and school, the relationship between Josh and Jordan begins to change. This book is also available as a graphic novel!

Here is a poem from The Crossover:

Dear Jordan

without u
i am empty,

the goal
with no net,

my life was


like puzzle pieces
on the court.

i can no longer fit.
can you

help me heal,
run with me,

slash with me
like we used to?

like two stars
stealing sun,

like two brothers
burning up.


PS. I’m sorry

Kwame talks about different styles of poetry in The Crossover

Kwame reads an excerpt from The Crossover

Watch Kwame's video about short poems, especially Haikus!

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