The Rock Island and Moline Public Libraries present “Saying Yes to Your Story: A Conversation with Kwame Alexander" -- February 8

Wednesday, February 8, 7 p.m.

Presented by the Rock Island and Moline Public Libraries

On February 8, the Rock Island Public Library, Moline Public Library, and Illinois Libraries Present will host a special virtual program in which participants will learn how to harness the power of words and storytelling for change, with the award-winning author of 36 books author taking part live in Saying Yes to Your Story: A Conversation with Kwame Alexander.

Born in Manhattan in 1968, Alexander grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia. and is principally a writer of poetry and children's fiction. His father was a scholar and book publisher and his mother an educator, and Alexander's given name Kwame comes from Ghana and means "born on a Saturday," although the author was actually was born on a Wednesday. He attended Virginia Tech, where he took a writing class with Nikki Giovanni, and Alexander's picture book Acoustic Rooster & His Barnyard Band was selected for the 2014 "Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book" program. His verse novel The Crossover won the 2015 Newbery Medal and was selected as an Honor book for the Coretta Scott King Award, while 2019's The Undefeated received the Newbery Honor/Caldecott Medal.

A regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, Alexander is also the recipient of numerous other professional accolades, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded, and he is the writer and executive producer of The Crossover on Disney+. With Alexander's additional works including Swing, Becoming Muhammad Ali (co-authored with James Patterson), Rebound, The Door of No Return, and this year's publication An American Story, the author will, during his February 8 program, present an event for young people and their families in which he will share ways to say yes to your story and persist in the face of rejection as he describes his own publishing journey.

This event is made possible by Illinois Libraries Present, a statewide collaboration among public libraries offering premier events. ILP, an organization committed to inclusion and accessibility. is funded in part by a grant awarded by the Illinois State Library, a department of the Office of Secretary of State, using funds provided by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.

Saying Yes to Your Story: A Conversation with Kwame Alexander will be presented on February 8, participation in the live virtual event is free, and more information is available by calling (309)732-7323 and visiting, or calling (309)524-2470 and visiting

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