Kwame Alexander

Grant and Brooke discuss unconventional writing, and how and why it’s not particularly embraced by the traditional publishing industry. Their guest, Kwame Alexander, is best-known for his book The Crossover, which is a YA novel in verse that big publishers didn’t think would attract a wide readership. They were wrong. This episode is a celebration of following your heart and embracing the unconventional.


Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 25 books, including Rebound, the follow-up to his, Newbery-medal winning middle grade novel, The Crossover. Kwame writes for children of all ages. A regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, Kwame is a multi-award-winning author. He’s also the host and producer of the literary variety/talk show, Bookish, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Find him on Twitter @kwamealexander.

Writing Action: Do Something Unconventional with Your Writing

Channel your inner Kwame and try to write a story in verse. See how it allows you to access your story in a different way. If this doesn’t work for you, experiment with the unconventional in your writing, and in yourself. And if you’re doing something unconventional—embrace it. Be open to revisions and reworking as needed, but also stay true to your heart.

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