Alexs Pate’s Publications and Professional Experience


“My love affair with writing and fiction, in particular, is one totally born out of a fascination with the seductive qualities of words. I am a poet at heart. In my head when I write, it’s like the continuous flow of words form a sort of song. It just streams out.” — Alexs D. Pate as interviewed by Katherine Link


Conversation with Patricia Smith November 2010.  University of MN

Conversation with Quincy Troupe April 2010.  University of MN

Conversation with Ishmael Reed November 2009.  University of MN

Conversation with Ntozake Shange April 2009. University of MN

Conversation with John Edgar Wideman February 2009. University of MN

Conversation with Sonia Sanchez November 2008. University of MN

Conversation with Amiri Baraka April 2008. University of MN

Conversation with Lucille Clifton February 2008. University of MN


Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota          Historical Society Press, 2015. Editor.

In The Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2010.

West of Rehoboth. Novel. New York: William Morrow, 2001.

The Multicultiboho Sideshow. Novel. New York: Avon/Bard, 1999.

Amistad: A Novel. New York: Signet, 1997.

Finding Makeba. Novel. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1997.

Losing Absalom. Novel. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 1994.


The Slide. Novel. In progress.

The Adventures of the Black Arrow. Novel. In progress.

Losing Absalom. Libretto. In progress.


“The Rumor.” After Hours: A Collection of Erotic Writing by Black Men. Ed. Robert Fleming. New York: Plume, 2002. 149-158. (invited)

“To Haiti or To Hell.” Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing.

Eds. Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris. New York: Harlem Mood Broadway Books, 2002. 714-724. (invited)

“Death by Coffee.” Merry Christmas, Baby: A Christmas and Kwanzaa Treasury. Eds. Paula L. Woods and Felix H. Liddell. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996. 90-93.

“Losing Absalom.” Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America. Eds. Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen. New York: Ballantine Books, 1995. 256-264.

The Butterfly Tree.” The Butterfly Tree: An Anthology of Black Writing from the Upper Midwest. Eds. Conrad Balfour and Seitu Jones. Minneapolis, MN: New Rivers Press, 1986. 62-71.


“On the Midwestern Front.” Drumvoices Revue: A Confluence of Literary, Cultural & Vision Arts 9.1-2 (Summer/Fall 2000): 135. Innocent. Princeton, NJ: Kutanei Press, 1998.

“Great Plains African” and “Tan.” The North Stone Review 12 (1995): 232, 233.

“In the Crow‟s Nest at Night.” Indigene: An Anthology of Future Black Arts. Ed. Black History Museum Committee. Philadelphia, PA: Black History Museum UMUM Publishers, 1978. 78.

Ten Poems in The Butterfly Tree: An Anthology of Black Writing from the Upper Midwest. Eds. Conrad Balfour and Seitu Jones. Minneapolis, MN: New Rivers Press, 1986. 72-84. 4


“Foreword.” To Smile In Autumn: A Memoir by Gordon Parks. University of Minnesota Press. 2009

“Foreword.” The HiptionaryA survey of African American Speech Patterns with a Digest of Key Words and Phrases by Mahmoud El-Kati. Papyrus Publishing Inc. 2009

“Chapter Five: Seeing Him” from The Past is Perfect: Memoir of a Father/Son Reunion. Black Renaissance Noire 7.3 (Fall 2007): 62-69.

“Excerpt from Therapy.” 2008 St. Paul Almanac. St. Paul, MN: Arcata Press, 2007. 106-108.

“The Past is Perfect: A Memoir of a Father/Son Reunion.” Water~Stone Review 8 (Fall 2005): 214-229. (invited)

“Innocence Found.” Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing up in America. Ed. Susan Richards Shreve. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. 159-167. (invited)

“An Interview with Jewell Parker Rhodes.” Co-written with Stacey Parshall. Water~Stone Review 6.1 (Fall 2003): 65-83.

“Foreword.” The Cotillion, or One Good Bull is Half the Herd. John Oliver Killens. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 2002. ix-xxi. (invited)

“Introduction.” Captain Blackman. John A. Williams. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House Press, 2000. i-ix. (invited)

“Writing, Teaching, and Transforming Home.” Minnesota English Journal 30.2 (Fall 2000): 119-131. (invited)

“Making Home in the New Millenium.” African American Literary Criticism 1773 – 1999. Ed. Hazel Arnett Ervin. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1999. 487-491. (invited)

Rev. of Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century by Randall Kenan. Star Tribune 14 March 1999, Metro Ed.: 16F.

“Everywhere the Wind Blows: African-American Writing Today.” The Atlas of Literature. Ed. Malcolm Bradbury. London: De Agostini Editions, 1996. 310-313.

“Living with White People: A Memoir.” The North Stone Review 12 (1995): 33-46. 5 “Explicit Words: The Heartbeat of Hip Hop.” Colors. (Sept/Oct 1992) 38-43.


“A Society that Fails to Value Black Lives.” Star Tribune 31 March 1991: 14-15A Door to My World: An Anthology. Eds. Alexs Pate and Ta-coumba Aiken. St. Paul, MN:

East Side Arts Council and the Mississippi Creative Arts Magnet School, 1992.

“The Invisible Family Man: The Quiet Heroism of My Working-Class, African-American Dad.” The Washington Post 19 June 1994, Sunday ed.:C3. Reprinted in The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education (Summer 1994) issue.

“Multicultural Writing in America.” Green Mountains Review VI.I (Winter/Spring 1993): 6-22.

“Poets with Attitude.” The Washington Post 25 Oct. 1992: C1-C2.

“Spinning” an Uncomfortable Journey Inside Racism.” Rev. of Spinning into Butter by Rebecca Gilman. Star Tribune 11 March 2001: F1, F5.

“What‟s Wrong with Tribalism.” Utne Reader no. 52 (July/Aug. 1992): 82/

“The Unobstructed Eye.” Mpls/St. Paul Magazine (Nov. 1989): 35-36.


“Illuminating the Darkened Corridors: An Interview with Alexs Pate.” Interviewed by Katherine Link. African American Review 36.4 (2002): 597-609.

Interview with Alexs Pate. Literature and Life: The Givens Collection. PBS. KTCA, Minneapolis, MN. 1998. 23 May 2001 <;.

“The Art of the Deal.” Interviewed by Britt Robson. City Pages: Scrawl Winter Book Issue 18.886 (26 Nov. 1997): 1-2.

“Uniting communities: Performance Explores Contradictions between Asia-America and Afro-America.” Interview of Alexs Pate and David Mura by Carolyn Holbrook Montgomery. The Nightly: The Weekend Companion to the Minnesota Daily. 20 Jan. 1994: 6-7.


Featured in PBS documentary Literature and Life: The Givens Collection. 1998.

Slowly This. Co-starring and written by Alexs Pate and David Mura. Dir. Arthur Jafa. New York: Third World Newsreel, 1995. 6

“The Significance of Rap/Hip Hop Music” on Arts on 2. KTCA-TV. 1994.

Featured on Portraits interview program on KTCA-TV. 1989.


2005-Present Commentator, All Things Considered on National Public Radio


“Writing Life: Moving Past the Fear.” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Hamline University. St. Paul, MN. 27 Sept. 2005.

“The Past is Perfect: The Challenge of Absentee Fathers.” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Concordia University. Moorhead, MN. 4 Oct. 2005.

“Revolutionary Innocence: The First Step to Free(dom).” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Augsburg College. Minneapolis, MN. 6 Oct. 2005.

“In the Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap.” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Metropolitan State/Minneapolis Community & Technical College. Minneapolis, MN. 11 Oct. 2005.

“Finding Home/Defining Home.” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Golden Thyme Coffee Café. Minneapolis, MN. 13 Oct. 2005.

“The Lessons of Amistad: A Conversation with Alexs Pate & Mahmoud El-Kati.” Lessons of Amistad Lecture Series. Penumbra Theater. St. Paul, MN. 18 Oct. 2005.


“Writing History, Writing Life.” Anoka Ramsey Community College. August 28, 2007.

“Empathetic Imagination.” Mahtomedhi High School. August 30, 2007. (Co-presented to teachers with Asian American writer David Mura.)

“Using History as the Source for Story.” Givens Foundation Children’s Literature Conference. Minneapolis, MN. June 15, 2007.

“Tribute to Gordon Parks.” Minnesota Book Awards. St. Paul, MN. April 12, 2007.

Keynote Speech. Leaders of Tomorrow. University of Minnesota. March 12, 2007

“Raise the Bar.” Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. University of Minnesota Law School. Minneapolis, MN. 26 Jan. 2006. 7

Keynote Speech. Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. Hamline University. St. Paul, MN. 23 Sept. 2004.

Keynote Speech. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. NAACP. Gary, Indiana. 20 Jan. 2004.

Keynote Speech. Midwest Writing Centers Association Conference. Wisconsin Writers Institute. Madison, WI. 10 July 2004.

Keynote Address. New Student Orientation. University of Wisconsin-River Falls. River Falls, WI. 30 Aug. 2003.

Keynote Address. Leadership Institute. St. Thomas University. St. Paul, MN. 27 Aug. 2003.

Keynote Address. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. NAACP. Rehobeth Beach, DE. 19 Jan. 2003.

Keynote Speech. Upper Midwest Region of the Association of College and University Housing Officers. Bloomington, MN. 27 Aug. 2003.

Featured Artist. Department of Creative Writing. Arizona State University. Phoenix, AZ. 13 July 2003.

Featured Artist. Artists on the Cutting Edge Series. San Diego Museum of Modern Art. San Diego, CA. 8 March 2002.

Keynote Address. Annual Black History Month Awards Banquet. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. 7 Feb. 2002.

Keynote Speech. African American History Month. Carleton College. Northfield, MN. 18 February 2002.

Keynote Speech. Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. Upper Midwest Region of the Association of College and University. St. Paul, MN. 17 Sept. 2002.

“Making Home in a Multicultural World: An American Quest.” RAVE Speakers Series. Walt Disney World. Orlando, FL. 17 Feb. 2000.

Keynote Speech. Minnesota Council of Teachers of English Conference. Bloomington, MN. 6 May 2000.

Keynote Address. Reliastar Diversity Conference. Minneapolis, MN. 20 Feb. 2000.

Keynote Speech. Ceridian Corporation Diversity Conference. Minneapolis, MN. 18 Oct. 2000. 8

Keynote Speech. Minnesota Collaborative Family Summit Conference. Minneapolis, MN. 9 April 1999.

Keynote Speech. Minnesota Independent School Forum Diversity Conference. Minneapolis, MN. 11 Sept. 1999.

Commencement Address. University College/University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. June 1998.

Keynote Address. St. Paul United Way. St. Paul, MN. 7 May 1998.

“Making Home Here: Exploring the Interior Reality of African-American Men.” A Dialogue with Rohan Preston. University of Minnesota Critical Dialogues. University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. 28 Jan.1999.

Keynote Address. Annual Awards Ceremony. Page Education Foundation. „ Minneapolis, MN. 3 June 1997.

“One-on-One: Dialogue with Charles Johnson.” Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library. Minneapolis, MN. 22 Feb. 1997.

Keynote Speech. Annual Diversity Speaker. Blake Private School. Minneapolis, MN. „ 8 Feb. 1996.

Keynote Speech. Area Council of Unions Annual Meeting. AFL-CIO. St. Paul, MN. 23 March 1995.

Keynote Speech. St. Paul Teen Writer‟s Conference. St. Paul Public Schools. St. Paul, MN. 16 May 1995.

Keynote Speech. ECSC Young Writers Conference. St. Paul, MN. 3 June 1994.


Howard University, Temple University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, St. Cloud State, University of Nebraska, Metropolitan State University, Hamline, Macalester College, St. Thomas University, Communiversity, Bradley University, University of California—San Diego (UCSD), Naropa University, Hurston/Wright Foundation, University of Minnesota—Morris, University of Arizona, Carleton College, Arizona State University, and WCCO Television Network.


“Rap as Poetry: In the Heart of the Beat.” Black Music Culture X: Hip-Hop III. Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference. Atlanta, GA.

Panelist. “State of Black Arts—Fiction.” National Association of Black Philanthropists Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. June 2005.

“Representations of Blackness: Standing in the Shadow of the Black Arts Movement Looking for the Light.” Black History Month Conference. Macalester College St. Paul, MN. February 2003.

Panelist. Discussion on August Wilson and Seven Guitars. Hamline University. St. Paul, MN. April 2003.

Panelist. “Multicultural Writing in America.” Associated Writing Program Annual Writing Conference. Minneapolis, MN. April 1992.


“In Search of Nat Turner.” The Carol Connolly Reading Series. Patrick‟s Cabaret. May 10, 2007.

The Multicultiboho Sideshow. By Alexs Pate. Dir. Ralph Remington. Pillsbury House Theater. Minneapolis, MN. 10 Nov. 1994.

“The Colors of Desire.” By Alexs Pate and David Mura. Perf. Alexs Pate and David Mura. Walker Art Center. Minneapolis, MN. Painted Bride Art Center. Philadelphia, PA. 1993.

“Let Heaven Be Loud.” Collaborative Performance with Michael Dennis Browne, Maria Cheng, and Kate Green. Associated Writing Programs Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN. 1992.

“Visions of a Voodoo Chile.” Written and Performed by Alexs Pate. The Southern Theater. Minneapolis, MN. 1991.

“Agiprop: Take The Racism From Yourself.” Written and Performed by Alexs Pate. Walker Art Center. Minneapolis, MN. 1990.

“For Children With Missing Fathers.” By Alexs Pate. Perf. Alexs Pate and Dawn Renee Jones. Intermedia Arts. Minneapolis, MN. 1989. Landmark Center. St. Paul, MN. 1984.

The Plant Closing. A commissioned play by the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Humphrey Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis, MN. 1986.

“Remembering Rondo.” A COMPAS commissioned play. Central High School.  St. Paul, MN. 1983.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award 2003

Honor Fiction Book Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for West of Rehobeth 2002

Minnesota Book Award (Fiction) for The Multicultiboho Sideshow 2000

Award for excellence and Achievement from Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association 1999

New York Times Bestseller List for Amistad (two weeks) 1995

Publisher‟s Weekly Bestseller’s List for Amistad (five weeks) 1995

Minnesota Book Award (Fiction) for Losing Absalom 1995

Best First Novel Award by Black Caucus of the American Library Association for Losing Absalom 1994

Minnesota Education Association School Bell Award for Commentary on Education 1990


Career Development Grant from The Jerome Foundation 2004

Off the Page Literature Performance Grant from The Loft Literary Center 1992


2006 Member, Board of Directors, The Givens Foundation

2006 Member, Board of Directors, Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries

1991-1992 President, Board of Directors, The Loft Literary Center

1991 Member, Arts Midwest Censorship Task Force

1983-1987 Commissioner, Minneapolis Arts Commission

1984-1987 Member, Metropolitan Regional Arts Committee 11

1984-1986 President, Great Midwestern Bookshow

1982 Member, Board of Directors, University of Minnesota YMCA


Sept. 2007     Final Judge for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fiction Award

January 2007 Panelist on a workshop for The Art of Making Truth: A Memoir Festival,  sponsored by The Loft Literary Center

April 2007     Presenter for Minnesota Book Award: Novel and Short Story

April 2006     Presenter for Minnesota Book Award: Best Book of History or Biography

2003               Final Judge for the PEN/Faulkner National Fiction Award

1990-1993     Curator for Intermedia Arts

1996              Curator for Alive TV (PB S) and their New Program Development