Skip to content

This is a poet whose lexicon, a 'glossary of vertigo,' might be culled from the complete holdings of a reconstituted Alexandrian library endowed for the next millennium.

—Harryette Mullen

Will Alexander

Contemporary African American poet

Will Alexander works in multiple genres. In addition to being a poet, he is also a novelist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, philosopher, visual artist, and pianist. His influences range from poetic practitioners, such as Aimé Césaire, Bob Kaufman, Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud, and Philip Lamantia, to the encompassing paradigm of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga, and the Egyptian worldview as understood by Cheikh Anta Diop and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz. The latter is central to Alexander’s expanding inner range, which has allowed him access to levels of mind beyond the three-dimensional as boundary. He thereby explores the full dimensionality of each word. For him, each word has access to not only the median level of three-dimensional experience, but also partakes of experience on both the supra and subconscious planes. His praxis of language is not unlike the Mayan numerical world, where each letter of the alphabet spontaneously engages in non-limit. Thus, all fields of experience are open for exploration: art, physics, botany, history, astronomy, architecture, and poetics. Alexander’s books include Asia and Haiti, The Sri Lankan Loxodrome, Compression and Purity, Sunrise In Armageddon, Diary As Sin, Inside the Earthquake Palace, Towards The Primeval Lightning Field, and Mirach Speaks To His Grammatical Transparents. He lives in The City of Angels.

Across the Vapour Gulf

Poetry by Will Alexander

In Will Alexander’s work, “Every poem reads like a subversive, alchemical wonder. He is truly a singular voice” (Jackson Poetry Prize citation). Inspired by Cioran’s aphorisms and composed over the span of thirty years, Across the Vapour Gulf opens with a note by the poet: “Reading Cioran opened an unexpected neural pathway, opening the way for the composition of the compilation at hand. Each entry was instantaneous. They welled up and appeared with such astonishing alacrity, that they seemed to compose themselves practically fully formed.”

Sri Lankan Loxodrome

Poetry by Will Alexander

In navigation a loxodrome, or rhumb line, is a line that crosses all meridians at the same angle, maintaining a constant compass direction, a path of constant bearing. The Sri Lankan Loxodrome threads this theme through a series of ecstatic monologues filled with the poet’s vast imaginary and intellectual wanderings, and touched by the sufferings of his ongoing battle with cancer. The book culminates in the title poem, which follows a lone Sri Lankan sailor who beheads sea snakes as an ongoing meditation while sailing the expanse of the Indian Ocean. Along the way the traveler meets various African communities as he journeys eastward from Madagascar to Sri Lanka. In lush, mesmeric language filled with the spirit of Aimé Césaire and Sun Ra, Will Alexander maps an epic voyage unlike any other in contemporary American poetry.