Heard on Campus: 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander

October 01, 2015

“Always keep a poem in your pocket. Teachers, keep a poem in your pocket, because you never know where you’re going to be and you’re going to need it. Poetry is the bridge that gets our students to appreciate language and literature. It’s concise. It’s rhythmic. It’s full of energy and movement. There’s so much white space on the page that kids are not intimidated by it. Keep a poem in your pocket.”

– Kwame Alexander, 2015 Newbery Medal winner for his novel in verse, “The Crossover,” also referred to as the first great hip hop novel. Alexander spoke Thursday (Oct. 1) at the University Libraries’ Foster Auditorium prior to receiving the Pennsylvania Center for the Book's 2015 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for “The Crossover.”

A full recording of Alexander's talk is now available for viewing online courtesy of Libraries MediaTech and MediaSite Live.

Alexander’s latest books, “Kwame Alexander’s Page-to-Stage Writing Workshop: Awakening the Writer, Publisher, and Presenter in Every Student” will be published Nov. 19, a picture book about two frogs named Bro and Dude and titled “Surf’s Up” will be released in January, and “Booked,” a novel in verse about a  12-year-old soccer-loving boy who hates books, will be published in April.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 17, 2015