(Virtually) Meet Award-Winning Poet and Author Kwame Alexander

November 9, 2020 (Canton, Ohio) – Stark Library is excited to (re)welcome award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander for a special virtual Speaking of Books author series on November 16 at 6:30 pm.

Kwame was scheduled to visit earlier in the year, but his visit was cancelled due to COVID 19.

“We’re so pleased to finally welcome Kwame Alexander to share his journey. He challenges us to rethink the power of words and how we use them because he believes words can change the world,” said Marianna DiGiacomo, Community Services Director of Stark Library. “Kwame writes from the heart, touching on complexities of growing up, meeting expectations, and finding a place in the world.”

At Stark Library, we enrich and engage Stark County through events, programs, and speakers who invite, inspire, and empower our community to pursue creativity and lifelong learning. Kwame’s passion for poetry and out-of-the-box thinking do just that.

Drawing on his own experience as a teen, Kwame combines an unlikely pair—sports and prose—to tackle the hard stuff, like jealousy, competition, and even death, in a relatable way. He is the author of 37 highly acclaimed books including THE CROSSOVER, SWING, REBOUND, and BOOKED, and is the Poet Laureate of LitWorld.

Kwame’s belief in the power of poetry and literature to inspire, engage, and empower young people is the guiding force behind his appointment as the inaugural Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Prize, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the 2018 NEA Read Across America Ambassador. His book, The Undefeated, an ode to great black Americans, won the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children in 2020.

Kwame is the Host and Executive Producer of WordPlay, a new kids television program, he is also a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition. In addition to writing, Kwame is the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, and has lead cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.

The Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books author series brings acclaimed writers to Stark County who inspire lively— and challenging— community conversations. You won’t want to miss Kwame’s inspirational story on November 16. Register for this virtual event at www.starklibrary.org.



Inviting. Informing. Transforming. At Stark Library, we invite everyone into a welcoming place, inform them with resources that will help them grow, and then send them back out to change and transform the world. We think of this ongoing, lifelong process as OUR PURPOSE.

One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, Stark Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 8,000 programs for 167,000 attendees and provides 228,399 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2019, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.

For locations, hours or more information visit StarkLibrary.org or call 330.452.0665.


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