poem index


Will Alexander

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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

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)

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)

by this poet

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

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