Skip to main content

Kwame Alexander papers

Identifier: MS2244

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains documents from Kwame Alexander and his two publishing companies - BlackWords Press and Alexander Publishing Group. Though there is one CD in this collection, the bulk of the material is papers from Alexander's files. The collection ranges in dates from 1990 until 2023. The bulk of the work is from the first few years of the 21st Century.

His personal papers include drafts of plays, television shows, poems, and books that he has produced. They also include correspondence and documents from Alexander's stint as a teacher at the Nora School. The papers from Alexander's publishing companies include events produced by the companies and works they published. There are also extensive business records and correspondence. The collection also contains Kwame Alexander's website, added in 2023

The collection was donated by Kwame Alexander in 2008.


  • Creation: 1990-2023


Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

Kwame Alexander, a poet, publisher, playwright, producer, speaker, and performer, is the author of eight books -including the best-selling Do The Write Thing: 7 Steps to Publishing Success, Kupenda: Love Poems, Dancing Naked on the Floor: poems and essays, and The Way I Walk, a collection of young adult short stories. He has conducted standing-room only publishing workshops, delivered keynote speeches, and performed his cutting-edge brand of poetry to audiences at numerous conferences, colleges and venues throughout the world, including: Stratford-on-Avon, Brixton Town Hall, Oberlin College, UC Berkeley, Hampton University, Duke University, University of Maryland, America's Choice National Conference, Baltimore Writers Alliance, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference. In the fall of 2006, Alexander served as keynote speaker, along with Naomi Shihab, at the New York State Council for Teachers of English Annual Conference. Alexander has produced over two-hundred literary related special events, including the First Annual Capital BookFest, a major literary arts festival sponsored by The Washington Post, Chick-fil-A, and The Literacy Council of Prince George's County. As a literary expert and commentator, he has appeared on a variety of television and radio programs including Fox News, Tavis Smiley, BET's Teen Summit , News Channel 8's Entertainment Forecast , NPR's Kojo Namdi Show , and several NBC and Fox affiliates. He has also been featured in the Washington Post, Poets and Writers Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Detroit Metro-Times, Washington Times, Sacramento Observer, Baltimore Sun, Vibe Magazine, Source Magazine, and The Virginia Pilot-Ledger Star. The founder of two book publishing companies, BlackWords Press and the Alexander Publishing Group, Alexander is responsible for progressive and original fiction and non-fiction. He has published over forty authors in different genres, including: M. Dion Thompson, former Baltimore Sun reporter and author of the critically-acclaimed historical novel Walk Like A Natural Man; Lalita Noronha, author of the short story collection, Where Monsoons Cry; and Michael Datcher, Today Show Book Club Awardee and editor of Tough Love: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur . He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter, where he hosts a weekly radio program, Word of Mouth, and serves as poet-in-the-schools for Crossland High School/Prince George's County Schools.

-- Biography compiled from Kwame Alexander's website,


5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains documents from Kwame Alexander and his two publishing companies - BlackWords Press and Alexander Publishing Group. This collection also contians Kwame Alexander's website, added in 2023. The collection ranges in dates from 1990 until 2023.

Collection Organization

Organized into four series: Creative output, Personal information, Publishing company documents, and Websites (captured using the Internet Archive's Archive-it service in 2023 and then once a year after that).

Acquisition Information

Gift of Kwame Alexander, 2008 (Accession 2008.002)

Preliminary Guide to the Kwame Alexander papers, 1990-2007
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

George Washington University Gelman Library
2130 H Street NW
Washington DC 20052 United States of America