Kwamé Alexander on the intersection between his children’s books and poetry


Kwamé Alexander chats about his new novel, “The Undefeated,” a letter to “black America." 

Not many writers can say they’ve transitioned from love poems to children’s novels about anthropormorphic jazz musicians like “Duck Ellington.” Poet, educator, New York Times bestselling author Kwamé Alexander has done it all.

His newest work, “The Undefeated,” is his “love letter to black America.” He tells The Times that he wrote it for his daughter after Barack Obama was elected president.

Some of his titles include “Swing,” “Solo” and “Rebound,” the follow-up to his popular Newbery-medal winning middle-grade novel, “The Crossover.” He’s currently writing a screenplay for “Crossover” and is also the host and producer of the literary variety/talk show “Bookish,” which airs on Facebook Watch.

Alexander chatted with The Times about his new book and dropped some poetry, too.


FULL COVERAGE: Los Angeles Times Festival of Books »