Call for Poetry w/ Kwame Alexander

Poetry contest! Theme "Story of Me/I Am Like." Entries due February 28th
  • Thank you for joining us at Kwame Alexander's presentation. Join us and SEND IN YOUR POETRY! One participant will win a copy of Kwame Alexander's books, and Jewell Parker Rhodes' Paradise On Fire.

    The theme is: "Story of Me/I Am Like"

    Entries are due Monday, February 28th. Submit your poem entries HERE

    Want an example? Here's one that was written by Shoreline staff:

    i am like a spring
    deep wells
    drawing from earth
    boundless depths
    born of fire

    standing on the shoulders of
    tapping into ancestral
    knowing my name
    containing multitudes

    finding breath
    bubbling up
    i am
    and phenomenal thing

    Here's another example by Langston Hughes, a poet from the Harlem Renaissance:

    April Rain Song
    Let the rain kiss you
    Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
    Let the rain sing you a lullaby
    The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
    The rain makes running pools in the gutter
    The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
    And I love the rain. 
                             Langston Hughes


    (Need help with a starting point? Here's an "I Am From" poem template to help you. CLICK HERE

photo of Kwame Alexander, smiling in the foreground. He is wearing a suit, has a bald head and wire rimmed glasses
  • About Kwame Alexander: 

    (Kid friendly version)
    Kwame Alexander has written 35 books, three of them in a chair next to a fireplace at his neighborhood Panera Bread. He now writes in a penthouse in London, where he lives. But, he misses the writing studio he built in Virginia a few years ago. It has huge windows, a large painting of John Coltrane, 3000 books, heated floors, a blue couch, and a loft which was Randy’s idea. When he’s not writing, Kwame’s playing Softball with his soon-to-be six feet tall middle school daughter, walking around London listening to audio books, and travelling to schools and libraries across the globe...on Zoom. Kwame has eaten snails, chocolate covered bugs, and grasscutter, which is like a big rat, which he had no idea he was eating because it was in a really tasty stew he ate in Ghana while building a library and a health clinic in a village called Konko. He’s never eaten frogs. But, he has written a book about them called Surf’s Up. And, some other books you may have heard of like The Crossover and Swing and The Undefeated and Becoming Muhammad Ali, all New York Times Bestsellers, which his Dad likes to brag about in grocery stores and doctor’s offices. Kwame loves jazz. Kwame loves his family. Kwame loves his job. Part of Kwame's job is to write and produce the Disney Plus TV series based on his novel The Crossover. The other part of Kwame’s job is to Change the World One Word at a Time. Oh yeah, he also won the Newbery Medal. Whoa!

    (Grown-up approved)
    Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times Bestselling author of 35 books, including SWING,  BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI, co-authored with James Patterson, BOOKED, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, REBOUND, which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book, THE UNDEFEATED, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and, his NEWBERY medal-winning middle grade novel, THE CROSSOVER. A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he founded the publishing imprint VERSIFY, and opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. He is the writer and executive producer of THE CROSSOVER TV series on Disney plus.