Compression & Purity
City Lights Spotlight No. 5
"If there is a true surrealist poet in the US, it is Will Alexander. His intense imagination frames poems that seem to have no structure yet function beyond automatic writing in clear and powerful compositions that send paths toward realms few poets reach."
"Alexander's comfort and willingness to discuss occasions beyond our normal daily experiences excites the imagination with the warmth of ecstatic re-envisioning. This is writing that opens up new worlds, crisp and direct in its offering of unique and valuable gifts."
"Will Alexander is a poet and poetic-critical interpreter of the world with a uniquely compelling voice, which has finally gained him the kind of recognition he deserves. . . He is his own medium: complex, transparent, opaque, shifting, hermetic, poignant, subversive, demanding, intimate, distant and, more often than not, all at once."
"Welcome to the hallucitorium run by Will Alexander. He's a unique wordsmith, kin to the Surrealists' Breton and Cesaire, and in America the San Franciscans’ Philip Lamantia, Bob Kaufman, and Ronnie Burke. Alexander is a Californian as well (though from South Central L.A.). Transmitting trance-matic blasts of auricular combustion, Alexander’s lexicon is a 'glossary of vertigo.' His seventh book of intense techno-lyricism is expressed in fissionary monologies teeming with "engrained astonishment."
SF Bay Guardian
"Compression and Purity works well as an introduction to Alexander's black surrealist oeuvre while still engaging and challenging his longtime readers. Though emotionally cold and detached, the poems more than make up for it with a genuine love of language and its power to effect change."
"Will Alexander is a poet and poetic-critical interpreter of the world with a uniquely compelling voice, which has finally gained him the kind of recognition he deserves. . . . For those who know his works and those who don't, his clarities and opacities, with their internal rhythmic charge, will invoke a dynamic that figures, as the constellations once did, the myriad connections that tie us to our human and natural universe; the one interpenetrating the other without cease." --Allan Graubard
Los Angeles Magazine
"This new volume from the L.A.-based African American poet includes an autobiographical, lyrical essay about how jazz and surrealism affected the evolution of his artistic sensibility."
"Born in South Central Los Angeles, and a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Alexander, who got his start publishing in Clayton Eshleman's groundbreaking journal Sulfur in 1981, is vastly under-appreciated--an important avant-garde poet, who deserves a wider audience."