Will Alexander and Roberto Harrison

A Weekend with City Lights Publishers: Join us for two readings and a conversation featuring City Lights authors Will AlexanderRoberto HarrisonEvan Kennedy, and mimi tempestt, with events hosted and moderated by Garrett Caples. Presented as part of our Visions in Publishing / Small Press Appreciation series with support from the NEA.

In person at Woodland Pattern and livestreaming via Crowdcast


Will Alexander has published over two dozen books in a variety of genres and has earned many honors and awards including a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry, a California Arts Council Fellowship, the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award, a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, and the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize. He has also exhibited his artwork in group and solo shows. His work is known for its visionary, oracular surrealism and the influence of Negritude. Among his publications are Divine Blue Light (for John Coltrane) (City Lights, 2022), Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021/Granta, 2022), which was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, The Combustion Cycle (Roof, 2021), Across the Vapor Gulf (New Directions, 2017), and The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (New Directions, 2009). His book Compression & Purity (2011) was volume five in the City Lights Spotlight Poetry Series. He is currently the poet-in-residence at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California. He has lived his entire life in Los Angeles.

Roberto Harrison's poetry books include Isthmus to Abya Yala (City Lights, 2024), Tropical Lung: exi(s)t(s) (Omnidawn, 2021), Tropical Lung: Mitologia Panameña (Nion Editions, 2020), Yaviza (Atelos, 2017), Bridge of the World (Litmus Press, 2017), culebra (Green Lantern Press, 2016), bicycle (Noemi Press, 2015), Counter Daemons (Litmus Press, 2006), Os (subpress, 2006), as well as many chapbooks. With Andrew Levy, Harrison edited the poetry journal Crayon from 1997 to 2008. He was also the editor of Bronze Skull Press which published over 20 chapbooks, including the work of many Midwestern poets. Most recently, Harrison served as a co-editor for the Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance anthology. He was the Milwaukee Poet Laureate from 2017–2019 and is also a visual artist. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife, the poet Brenda Cárdenas.