“If black fiction has any hope of resembling the literary quality which distinguished luminaries like Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin and other titans, it must be done through the efforts like those of Alexs D. Pate.” –Pulse
Alexs D. Pate is the author of five novels including the New York Times Bestseller Amistad, commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni. Other novels include Losing Absalom, Finding Makeba, The Multicultiboho Sideshow and West of Rehoboth.
Alexs’s first book of nonfiction, In The Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap, which investigates the literary history and the quality of rap as a poetic expression, was published by Scarecrow Press January 2010. His memoir, The Past is Perfect: Memoir of a Father/Son Reunion will also be published next year by Coffee House Press. An excerpt of the memoir appears in the Fall 2007 edition of Black Renaissance Noire. Alexs’s poetry collection, Innocent, was published in 1998.
In addition, Alexs wrote the foreword to the recently re-published Gordon Parks’ memoir To Smile in Autumn by the University of Minnesota Press. Alexs also wrote the introduction to Mahmoud El-Kati’s new book, Hiptionary.
Alexs’s most recent novel, West of Rehoboth was selected as “Honor Fiction Book” for 2002 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. In February of 2002, noted National Book Award novelist Charles Johnson chose Alexs as an “Achiever Who Will Lead The Next Generation” in the area of literature. The list of eight “achievers” was published in the USA TODAY/WEEKEND along with a dialog between Johnson and Pate.
Alexs is an Assistant Professor in African American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota , where he teaches courses in writing and black literature, including a course on “The Poetry of Rap.” He also teaches fiction writing at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast M.F.A. program in Portland, Maine. He is currently at work on two novels, The Slide and a story about a black pirate captain, Adventures of the Black Arrow: Search for Libertalia.
As host and curator of the Givens Foundation’s NOMMO author’s series Alexs has engaged in conversation with such writers as Ishmael Reed, Amiri Baraka, John Edgar Wideman, Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, and Ntozake Shange.
© Copyright 2011 Alexs D. Pate