Will Alexander on Intuition

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“[The Congo] is the heartbeat of the world, and it’s never recognized as a central heartbeat,” says Will Alexander about the focus of his most recent collection, Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021), a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, in this Poetry.LA interview with Douglas Manuel about the intuition he follows for his writing. “I’m not colonized by cognitive expertise,” says Alexander.

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Lunch Poems With Will Alexander

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"It is the way I breathe / through chronic terrifying ferns / through a black ungracious stoma..." For the Lunch Poems Noontime Poetry Series, Will Alexander shares from his poetry collection Compression and Purity (City Lights Publishers, 2011). Alexander is the recipient of the tenth annual Jackson Poetry Prize, an annual Poets & Writers award.

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The Neutralized Sore of the Unshackled Bear

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Will Alexander reads the poem "The Neutralized Sore of the Unshackled Bear" from his first book, Vertical Rainbow Climber (Jazz Press, 1987), at a 2012 event at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. Alexander is the 2016 recipient of the Jackson Poetry Prize, an annual Poets & Writers award currently in its tenth year.

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Will Alexander

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"[Los Angeles is] part of an international community. The city has allowed tremendous growth for me, in terms of its cultural outlets, from libraries, great cinema, dance, orchestra, interesting mixes of people.... I see myself as a global citizen and a global writer." Will Alexander, winner of the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize awarded annually by Poets & Writers, talks about the influence the city of Los Angeles has had on his relationship with language and writing.

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