Fans who’ve swooned over Kwame Alexander’s love poems may be surprised by his revelations and struggles in learning how to love.

“Very rarely did I see the men in my life engage romantically with their spouses or partners,” Alexander said on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley. “I just never saw it. And so, how does that impact a young mind if you grew up not seeing that?”

Alexander has spent a lifetime observing and searching for examples to emulate in his own life, which he shares in his book, “ Why Fathers Cry At Night: A Memoir in Love Poems, Letters, Recipes and Remembrances.”

This non-traditional memoir is Alexander’s vulnerable journey to express his love for the people closest to him, including his children. He says writing the book helped to reconnect him to his daughter, with whom he was estranged.

“Writing the book was a door-opener,” Alexander said. “And then I had to walk through that door. Writing it was tough. ... doing the work that I wrote about needing to happen — that was harder. But writing that book opened the door. I walked through it. And yeah, she was on the other side.”

He joined host Callie Crossley to speak more about his book, what it was like to write it, what he learned about different kinds of love in his life and how writing his memoir has helped him live more openly and authentically.


Kwame Alexander, is a poet, educator, publisher and a #1 New York Times bestselling author of 40 books, including “The Crossover,” for which he won the Newbery Medal. Alexander is also the writer and executive producer of the Disney + streaming series,” The Crossover,” based on his book. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition, founder of the publishing imprint Versify and host of the podcast, “Why Fathers Cry.”