When he’s excited about a subject, Kwame Alexander speaks in a rapid-fire flow, an improvised musical line that takes a theme and mines it for meaning and possibility.
Take, for example, his answer to a question about cultural references — to jazz, hip-hop, books and more — in his novels-in-verse The Crossover and Booked.
“I’m a big fan of exploring what’s going on in the world and our place in it,” he says. And then he fires off a list as I scurry to keep my pen flying across the page of my notebook: books, music, police brutality (I didn’t see that one coming), first love, how to imagine a better world — probably more that I didn’t catch. […]