Talking with Authors: Kwame Alexander: Keeping Poetry Cool
Grades: 9 - 12

Video Description: Not often do New York Times bestselling authors admit they once hated reading. It’s even more unusual for Newberry Medal winners to make that kind of admission. But, Kwame Alexander is not your typical author. For example, he’ll tell you he writes for non-readers…seems like an unusual business plan, doesn’t it? But, Alexander sees it more as a challenge. In this Maryville Talks Books interview, Alexander talks about his love/hate past relationship with reading/writing, how he keeps poetry cool for middle schoolers and how his writing has taken him around the world.

Type of Video: Interview*
Unique Video ID: Literature-31**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Use the video to help students gain insight into the writing process as they learn of the author’s approach to writing.
  • Use the video as your students study poetry and write their own poetry.


*Interviews feature extended conversation exploring fascinating topics with fascinating people in the area of study.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.