Skip to main content

Kwame Alexander Addresses 2024 American University Graduates & Receives Honorary Doctorate

Kwame Alexander received a standing ovation for his 2024 Commencement Address to graduates of American University's School of Communication and School of Education.

The #1 New York Times bestelling author and award-winning author of over 40 books was also awarded an honorary doctorate from American University, in recognition of his profound impact on literature and education. Ceremonies were held on Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Washington, DC.

Kwame Alexander Writers' Lab & Conference!

Registration Now Open: Chautauqua Institute, June 18-21, 2024

Kwame Alexander Writers Lab  Conference, Chautauqua Institution

Register at

Everyone has a story to tell. Join us to discover yours at the Inaugural 2024 Kwame Alexander Writers’ Lab & Conference at Chautauqua Institution (previously known as the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival), taking place over four days, June 18-21, 2024. This year we are celebrating and featuring writers in Memoir, Poetry, and Children’s Literature, including Kwame Alexander, Safiya Sinclair, Kate Bowler, Nikki Grimes, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Jillian Hanesworth, and many more!

In addition to opportunities to take two Master Classes with well-renown faculty writers in a selected genre track, attendees can also experience an opening and closing keynote address, featured speaker events, mix and mingle events with publishers and agents, and panel conversations. All these features are included in the cost of standard registration.

Registration is now open, but space is limited. Find out more and secure your spot at!

Celebrating This is the Honey Launch Week!

MSNBC Morning Joe, TODAY, & the Late Show with Stephen Colbert

An incredible launch week for This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, with sold out "A Great Day in Poetry" events all across the country and multiple national appearances. Deep gratitude for all the love and support!

MSNBC Morning Joe: Kwame Alexander discusses his newest book, This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets.

From books about Black trailblazers to suspenseful thrillers, #1 New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning producer Kwame Alexander joins TODAY to share his top book recommendations for February and discuss his newest book, This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets.

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Emmy Award-winner and bestselling author Kwame Alexander tells Stephen how he first got interested in poetry as a young man, and he reads a poem that appears in his latest book, This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets. Watch the full segment on, YouTube, and Facebook; check out clips on Instagram, Threads, and TikTok!

Kwame Visits The Kelly Clarkson Show!

Celebrating National Poetry Month

The Kelly Clarkson Show: In celebration of National Poetry Month, renowned poet Kwame Alexander reflects on falling in love with the medium while growing up in a literary household, and recites his moving poem "Portrait of a Mother & Son" from his memoir, Why Fathers Cry at Night. John Lithgow also shares one of his very favorite Shakespeare poems.

This is the Honey: The Celebration Continues!

Catch Kwame on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, PBS Newshour, and WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show!

The love for This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets (and for Why Fathers Cry at Night!) continues: check out Kwame's recent appearances on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, PBS NewsHour, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show!

The Daily Show: “Poetry is a way to open up a door to possibilities, no matter who’s writing.” Bestselling author and Emmy-winning producer Kwame Alexander stops by to talk about his latest anthology of Black poets, This Is the Honey, and how it is a way for any reader to explore the love and triumphs of a Black experience, not just tragedy. Alexander also gives Michael Kosta advice for raising daughters and reads a poem from his memoir, Why Fathers Cry at Night.

PBS Newshour: Award-winning author and producer Kwame Alexander just released his latest work. It's an anthology by Black poets called, This Is the Honey. Amna Nawaz discussed the book with Alexander for our arts and culture series, CANVAS.

The Brian Lehrer Show: Kwame Alexander, poet and Emmy-winning producer, author of Why Fathers Cry at Night and editor of This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets (Little, Brown and Company, 2024), talks about the inspiration for, and from, the works collected in his new book.

PEOPLE Exclusive: Cover Reveal of BLACK STAR!

Sneak Peek at Latest Book in Kwame Alexander’s THE DOOR OF NO RETURN Series, in stores Sept. 24!

PEOPLE Exclusive Cover Reveal of BLACK STAR


On Monday, February 26, 2024, in an exclusive with PEOPLE, #1 New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning producer Kwame Alexander revealed the cover of his upcoming middle grade novel, Black Star. The second book in Kwame Alexander’s acclaimed The Door of No Return series will hit bookshelves on Sept. 24, 2024, published this fall by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

“A while ago, a middle school student wrote me a two-page letter thanking me for writing my books, but challenging me to write a novel with a girl as the main character,” Alexander tells PEOPLE.

“When I started writing Black Star, I knew that it would continue the story from The Door of No Return, I knew that baseball and Jim Crow would play a major role in the book and I knew that it was time to feature a girl, like my daughter, like all the girls who read my books, like the young lady who challenged me,” he continues.

Read the full exclusive on!

This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets in stores Tues. Jan. 30

A Great Day in Poetry Tour Begins Wed. Jan. 31

This is the Honey An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets in stores Tues. Jan. 30

400 pages of profound, provocative, and passionate poetry. 150 brilliant poets. 3 grinding years. And one fantastic anthology. It’s my 40th book, and I love everything about it: the title, the cover, the fact that I got to publish so many of my heroes and peers and friends (and one cousin). In stores, Tuesday, January 30. On tour with a few folks beginning Wednesday, January 31. This. Is. The. Honey. And, it is gonna be sweet y’all.

~ Kwame

This is the Honey On Tour: A Great Day in Poetry

In 1958, Esquire magazine commissioned Art Kane, a young photographer, to photograph as many of the luminaries of the New York jazz scene as possible together. The group included Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and many other notable artists. The photo would be used for Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz edition, as a way to highlight and celebrate the soundtrack of America. Over the years, other facets of Black America’s Cultural landscape would be commemorated in similar ways: A Great Day in Hip Hop (1998), A Great Day in Hollywood (2018).

In keeping with this tradition, Kwame Alexander has organized A Great Day in Poetry, with events primarily taking place on February 1, 2024—Langston Hughes’ birthday. Coinciding with the publication of his 40th book, This is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, A Great Day in Poetry will feature various contributing poets gathering in select bookstores across the U.S., including New York, Washington, DC, Charleston, SC, Boston, and Los Angeles, reading from their work and paying homage to the legacy, and future, of African-American poetry.


2024 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration Awarded to Dare Coulter for "An American Story"

2024 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, Dare Coulter, An American Story

Image: Little, Brown Young Readers School & Library Team

Congratulations to Dare Coulter, illustrator of Kwame Alexander's An American Story and winner of the 2024 Coretta Scott King Book Award, honoring African American illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults!

The award was announced today during the American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held January 19–22 in Baltimore.

“Coulter masterfully uses mixed-media, illustrations and clay figures, to differentiate for the reader the story of slavery and present-day reactions of the kids who are learning about this history from their teacher in the narrative. Coulter’s illustrations beautifully yet authentically tell the American story of Black people that although tragic, is a story of triumph,” said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Dr. LaKeshia Darden.

The full press release from ALA can be found here.

Dare will also be joining Kwame as his special guest for our forthcoming Black History Month Author Study, a virtual livestream event for classrooms and libraries taking place on February 27, 2024 at 1pm EST / 10am PST. Check out the event page for additional details and registration info!

We need King’s message as much today as in 1965: ‘How long? Not long’

Los Angeles Times Op-Ed by Kwame Alexander

We need Kings message as much today as in 1965 How long Not long

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the crowd at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery march on March 25, 1965. (Morton Broffman / Getty Images)

"President Kennedy once posed the question: What is it to be an American today when our people are divided as never before? Now as then, too many of us have lost our way, our will and our sense of historic purpose. The good and righteous in us knows what’s necessary for a renewal. For a healing. For a reclamation of the most important values that have eluded us, but still define our journey as human beings: freedom, democracy and equality of opportunity. The problem is we don’t know where to go, or we’re too afraid of how we get there."

Read the full Los Angles Times op-ed by Kwame Alexander at

*subscription may be required

Author Study Spring Semester 2024!

Registration open NOW for February Black History Month and April National Poetry Month events!

Author Study Spring Semester 2024

We're gearing up for Author Study 2024 Spring Semester, with a number of great events in the works! Each 45-minute virtual livestream features special guests, a mini-craft lesson, readings and book talks, Q&A, and more.

Take a sneak peek below and keep an eye on for additional updates!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Black History Month: Kwame Alexander with special guest Dare Coulter, An American Story
All grade levels
Click HERE to Register!

Tuesday, April 30, 2024
National Poetry Month: Kwame Alexander with surprise special guests
All grade levels
Click HERE to Register!


The Crossover received the Emmy® for Outstanding Young Teen Series, announced at the 2nd Annnual Annual Children's & Family Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, December 17, 2023!

Congratulations to the entire production team, cast, and crew, including Executive Producers Kwame Alexander, Maverick Carter, Daveed Diggs, Kimberly Ann Harrison, Todd Harthan, Jamal Henderson, Lebron James, Damani Johnson, Jay Marcus, Erin O’Malley, Robert Prinz, Bob Teitel, George Tillman, Jr., and Lezlie Wills, along with Co-Executive Producer Valerie C. Woods, Supervising Producer Ali Kinney, and Producer Marsha L. Swinton.


Photo courtesy of the Children's & Family Emmy Awards, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences


Limited Edition Frames in Collaboration with Kirk & Kirk


Hey Hey Hey!

‘Tis the season to celebrate: today’s the DAY. The official launch of The Haiku Collection, the limited edition eyewear collaboration with the innovative team at Kirk & Kirk!

We’ve put our heart and soul into this line, with two styles and four colorways to choose from. Each frame is handcrafted in Italy and comes packaged with pulchritude, including a gorgeous booklet featuring original Haiku penned by yours truly.

This isn’t just eyewear, y’all… it’s FLYWEAR, and I can’t wait for you to have your own pair. Get yours here and join the revolution in readers.

This is going to be a wonderful holiday and bountiful new year for each of us, and our loved ones! You can quote me on that...

~ Kwame

P.S. Head over to my Instagram (@kwamealexander) on Saturday, December 16th, 11am EST / 8am PST – I’ll be coming to you LIVE with Kirk & Kirk co-founder Jason Kirk to talk about our collab and answer all the questions you ever had about eyeglasses and lenses. Oh yeah!

Kwame Alexander Appointed to Lead Chautauqua Literary Arts

Kwame Alexander Appointed to Lead Chautauqua Literary Arts

Chautauqua Institution today announced the appointment of ​#1 New York Times Bestselling Author ​Kwame Alexander to the role of Michael I. Rudell Artistic Director of Literary Arts. Alexander will also serve as​ the Inaugural​ Writer-in-Residence at Chautauqua.

A poet, educator, publisher, ​and Emmy-nominated producer, ​ Alexander is​ ​​the author of​ 40 books, ​including ​Why Fathers Cry at Night: A Memoir;​​​ ​​The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson;​ Becoming Muhammad Ali, co-authored with James Patterson; and the Newbery Medal-winning middle grade novel, The Crossover,​ now a television series on Disney+​. His books have long been a staple on lists for both the Institution’s Young Readers program and its Battle of the Books. ​Alexander, the former Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London,​ made his Chautauqua debut in a week dedicated to “The Life of Literature” in August 2023.

As director of Chautauqua’s Literary Arts program, which has its roots in the 145-year-old Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle (CLSC), Alexander will provide strategic vision and leadership for all Literary Arts programs, with a focus on amplifying Chautauqua’s position as a national force in the literary arts. In addition to the CLSC, Chautauqua Literary Arts programs include the Writers’ Center, Writers’ Festival, Poetry Makerspace, and two annual literary prizes, The Chautauqua Prize and the Chautauqua Janus Prize.

Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer Deborah Sunya Moore said Alexander’s expertise and networks will help the Institution realize a vision for the Literary Arts as a key driver of patron engagement. “Kwame quickly fell in love with both the place and community Chautauqua currently is, and the aspiration of who we want to be and serve. We are delighted that he will lean into our shared aspirations to provide extraordinary learning opportunities and experiences for a broadening community of people that love literature, including those who are honing their own writing craft,” Sunya Moore said.

“My experience at Chautauqua last summer went beyond impactful,” Alexander said. “The bookish me found the conversations creatively life-giving. The people I met, several of whom I’ve remained engaged with, were incredibly thoughtful​ and heartfelt with support for my mission to change the world, one word at a time​. My muse was so moved by the experience that I tried to bottle up all that inspiration​ and take it home​. Accepting this position, this honor, is me opening the bottle and pouring into this place — this community — all the imagination, innovation, and literary inventiveness I can dream up to further inspire the best in humanity.”

In addition to providing leadership for Chautauqua’s existing literary arts programs, Alexander will also support new initiatives, including Chautauqua Travels. He will serve as the trip expert for the 2024 Literary Ireland departure.

Alexander begins his service to Chautauqua on December 1, 2023.

Learn more about the Chautauqua Institition and Chautauqua Literary Arts.