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About this poet

Will Alexander was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1948. He received a BA from the University of California–Los Angeles in 1972.

Alexander published his first poetry collection, Vertical Rainbow Climber (Jazz Press), in 1987. He went on to publish numerous books of poetry, including Kaleidoscopic Omniscience (Skylight Press, 2013), The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009), and Asia & Haiti (Sun & Moon Press, 2000).

In 2016, Alexander received the Jackson Poetry Prize awarded by Poets & Writers; the judges’ citation notes, “It is tempting to label Alexander a surrealist or experimentalist, but he is truly a singular voice. Ultimately, his poetry is rooted in a belief in the transformative powers of language.”

Also known for his essays and nonfiction, he is the author of Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture 1991–2007 (Essay Press, 2013), winner of an American Book Award.

Alexander is the recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship, a PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, and a Whiting Fellowship, among many others. He has taught at several universities, including the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and the University of California–San Diego. He lives in California.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
Kaleidoscopic Omniscience (Skylight Press, 2013)
The Brimstone Boat (Reve a Deux, 2012)
The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009)
Exobiology As Goddess (Manifest Press, 2005)
Asia & Haiti (Sun & Moon Press, 2000)
Compression & Purity (City Lights, 2011)
Towards the Primeval Lightning Field (O Books, 1998)
Above the Human Nerve (Pavement Saw Press, 1998)
Vertical Rainbow Climber (Jazz Press, 1987)

Prose
Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat: Essays, Prose Texts, Interviews, and a Lecture 1991–2007 (Essay Press, 2013)
Diary As Sin (Skylight Press, 2011)
Sunrise in Armageddon (Spuyten Duyvil, 2006)

Thought as Philosophical Torment

In the mirror of excessive drift
there exist those values
which exist within schisms
within error wracked spectrums
which glow by means of vapour
above anti-dimensional obstruction

the visage of metrics
tuned to a mesmeric lisp
to a rancid facial dice
thrown across ethers
across 3 or 4 sierras or voids

so that each sculpting
each prism
advances
the apparitional understanding
to a macro-positional scalding
which collapses
which takes on the centigrade of absence
bound to invisible comradery

From The Sri Lankan Loxodrome. Copyright © 2009 by Will Alexander. Reprinted with permission of New Directions Press.

From The Sri Lankan Loxodrome. Copyright © 2009 by Will Alexander. Reprinted with permission of New Directions Press.

Will Alexander

Will Alexander is the author of numerous books, including Kaleidoscopic Omniscience (Skylight Press, 2012), The Brimstone Boat (Reve a Deux, 2012), Diary As Sin (Skylight Press, 2011), and Compression & Purity (City Lights, 2011). He is the recipient of a California Arts Council Fellowship and a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry. He lives in Los Angeles.

by this poet

poem

For me, biography is a lantern, burning in the midst of parenthetical opaqueness. In a sense, it is a ruse, a phantasmic meandering, brighter or dimmer, according to the ecletic happenstance of terror.

Me, I've been sired in anomaly, in an imagery of brewing grenadine riddles, a parallel poesis spawned from