ALA President's ProgramSunday, January 22, 2017 -
Kwame Alexander—poet, educator, and award-winning, bestselling author of 24 books for children of all ages, including the 2015 Newbery Medal-winning The Crossover, the New York Times bestselling novel, Booked, and the forthcoming collection of personal essays and basketball rules, The Playbook—joins ALA President Julie Todaro as speaker on the President’s Program.
You can look forward to hearing how Alexander’s work is inspired by his belief that poetry can change the world, and how he uses poetry to inspire and empower young people all over the world. His latest project pairs his uplifting poetry with more than 100 stunning photos of the world’s endangered animals in the photo-illustrated book Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures. The poetry and photographs by acclaimed National Geographic photographer and founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark Joel Sartore, speak to children of the importance of conservation and the beauty of the animal kingdom. Animal Ark is inspired by The Photo Ark, a multiyear effort with Sartore and the National Geographic Society to document every animal species under human care, with special attention given to those facing extinction.
Alexander, a regular speaker at schools and conferences, recently served as the Bank Street College of Education Center for Children's Literature's Inaugural Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence. He leads an annual delegation of writers, educators, and activists to Ghana, as part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded that builds libraries and provides literacy professional development for teachers. He also travels widely to other places such as Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, and Shanghai to share his love of literature.