Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander in conversation with Director of San Francisco Human Rights Commission Sheryl Evans Davis

For Immediate Release Media Contact: Katherine Jardine (415) 557-4295

SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, 2017 — Award-winning author, poet and educator Kwame Alexander will share excerpts from The Playbook, a recent collection of poems and verse inspired by notable athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James and Michelle Obama. He will be joined by San Francisco Human Rights Commission Director, Sheryl Evans Davis. When Alexander received the call in 2015 that his book The Crossover had won the Newbery Medal, he recognized that the two decades spent struggling to make it as a poet had been worth it. “When you’ve been told ‘no’ 20 times, the inclination is to walk out the door,” Alexander told a library audience last year. “Here’s the thing, you’ve always got to say ‘yes’ to yourself.” Alexander has been describing his uphill battle to literary acclaim to audiences across the country, and the San Francisco Public Library is honored to host the author this Sunday afternoon in the Koret Auditorium for a discussion about his latest work, The Playbook. Alexander often shifts back and forth from conversational speaking to delivering spoken word poetry from his books, and although the subjects of his books make them easy for children to relate (his verse forms often sounds like hip-hop), his live appearances often provide many take-aways for adults as he addresses topics like love and parenting. Following the event will be an author signing with Alexander and book selling by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. This event is presented in partnership with Friends of San Francisco Public Library, African American Center, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and Collective Impact.   About Kwame Alexander Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including The Crossover, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children. Kwame writes for children of all ages. Some of his other works include Score in this game of life, Animal Ark, Out of Wonder and Surf's Up. Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program.   About Sheryl Evans Davis Sheryl Evans Davis is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC). Director Davis previously served as Commissioner between 2011 and 2016, including a tenure as Vice Chair of the Commission. Prior to joining the HRC, Director Davis was Executive Director of Collective Impact, a community-based organization in the Western Addition neighborhood of San Francisco.   Kwame Alexander in the Koret – Feb. 19, 2 p.m., Main Library, Koret Auditorium
February 13, 2017