Will Alexander

Will Alexander. Courtesy PoemHunter.

Will Alexander (born 1948) is an African-American poet, novelist, essayist, pianist, and visual artist.[1]


Alexander was born in Los Angeles, and has lived his entire life in that city. He has a B.A. in English and creative writing.[1] He graduated from the University of Colorado, and from theState University of New York at Buffalo.[2]

He has worked several jobs (including the LA Lakers box office), taught at various institutions, and has been associated with the nonprofit organization Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, working with underserved, at-risk youth.

His earliest publication was probably in 1981, in little literary magazine Sulfur. His work began attracting critical attention with Asia & Haiti, published in (1995.[1]

His work has appeared in BOMB, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and The Nation.[3]


Alexander’s poetry and his visual art have been greatly influenced by his readings of Bob Kaufman, Octavio Paz, and Francophone Negritude writers such as Aimé Cesaire and Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo. Alexander describes their themes of cosmic isolation from society and interior discovery as an “alchemical metamorphosis.” Much of Alexander’s work is characterized by this powerful mix of metaphor and sophisticated language.[1]


He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001 and a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002. His collection Singing In Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, prose, texts, interviews, and a lecture (2013) was awarded an American Book Awards. He won the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize.[1]


  • 2016 — Jackson Poetry Prize (awarded by Poets & Writers)
  • 2014 — American Book Award for Singing In Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose, Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture
  • 2002 — California Arts Council Fellowship
  • 2001 — Whiting Fellowship for Poetry


  • Vertical Rainbow Climber. Jazz Press, 1987.
  • Archane Lavender Morals. Leave Books, 1994.
  • The Stratospheric Canticles. Pantograph Press, 1995.
  • Asia & Haiti. Sun & Moon Press, 1995.
  • Above the Human Nerve Domain. Pavement Saw Press, 1998.
  • Towards the Primeval Lightening Field. O Books, 1998.
  • Exobiology as Goddess. Manifest Press, 2005. ISBN 9780967388588
  • Inalienable Recognitions. Tract Series #4. eohippus labs, 2009.
  • The Sri Lankan Loxodrome. New Directions Publishing, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8112-1829-0
  • On the Substance of Disorder. [Parrot 7]. Insert Press, 2010.
  • Compression & Purity. City Lights, 2011. ISBN 978-0-87286-541-9
  • Diary As Sin. Skylight Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-908011-13-8
  • Inside the Earthquake Palace: 4 Plays. Chax Press, 2011. ISBN|978-0-925904-89-8
  • Mirach Speaks to his Grammatical Transparents. Oyster Moon Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-578-08445-9
  • The Brimstone Boat - For Philip Lamantia. Rêve à Deux, 2012. ISBN 978-0-578-09589-9
  • Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose Texts, Interviews and a Lecture 1991-2007. Essay Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9791189-7-5
  • Kaleidoscopic Omniscience: Asia & Haiti/ The Stratospheric Canticles/ Impulse & Nothingness. Skylight Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1-908011-49-7
  • The Transparent as Witness. Will Alexander & Janice Lee. Solar Luxuriance, 2013.
  • Towards the Primeval Lightning Field. Litmus Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-933959-20-7
  • The Codex Mirror: 60 Drawings by Byron Baker & 60 Writings by Will Alexander. Anon Edition, 2015. ISBN 978-1-312620-47-6
  • Based on the Bush of Ghosts. Staging Ground, 2015.

See alsoEdit

Where Are You From? Will Alexander

Where Are You From? Will Alexander

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Will Alexander b. 1948], Poetry Foundation. Web, Mar. 23, 2018.
  2. Art Writing. Web, Dec. 2, 2017.
  3. Gilbert’s "Dark Waters", Poetry Society of America. Web, Dec. 2, 2017}}

External linksEdit

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