Staff Report for The Island Eye News
Kwame Alexander, New York Times-bestselling author and 2015 Newberry Medal recipient, will be the featured speaker at this year’s Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival.
Alexander will join at least 50 black authors and hundreds of readers for thesecond annual festival on Sept. 23, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Main branch of the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St. The event is free and open to the public. Alexander is the author of 24 books, including poetry, prose, and picture books.
In addition to winning the Newberry Award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, his book The Crossover also received the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor and other recognitions.
The book is “a mix of free verse and hip-hop poetry that will have broad appeal,” according to a starred review in the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. “This will inspire budding players and poets alike.”
Alexander believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his Writing Workshop. A regular speaker at schools and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world—including Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, and recently, Ghana—planting seeds of literary love.
“We are thrilled that Kwame, one of the most inspiring authors in America today, will join us for our second festival,” announced Brittany Mathis, director of the Charleston Friends of the Library, one of the sponsors of the festival. Other sponsors include the South Carolina Humanities Council, the YWCA of Greater Charleston, the Rotary Club of Charleston, the YMCA of Greater Charleston, CharlestonGood, and the Avery Research Center.
“We are also grateful that the Charleston County Public Library has agreed to host the festival,” she continued.
“Last year, at Burke High School, we were able to draw almost 500 readers. This year, with the support of the library, we expect many more.”
Black Ink: A Charleston African American Book Festival’s mission is to support local Black writers, creating a space for them to share their work, discuss their craft, and expose readers of all ages to the great variety of African American authors in the area. It will feature author sessions, workshops/seminars, and entertainment.