A new collection of short prose writings in Will Alexander's signature “vertical philosophy.”
THE COMING MENTAL RANGE brings readers deep into the revolutionary poetics and philosophy of multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and musician Will Alexander. Gathering together a group of Alexander’s short prose writings in his signature “vertical philosophy” with essays in poetics touching on the work of admired artists and poets (Byron Baker, Wanda Coleman, Pablo Jofré, Bob Kaufman, and Ghérasim Luca to name a few), in addition to several key interviews with the author, The Coming Mental Range serves as a critical introduction to Alexander’s work and thought, and as a companion to volumes in poetry and philosophy like Divine Blue Light (City Lights, 2022), Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021), and Towards the Primeval Lightning Field (O Books, 1998). In The Coming Mental Range, “language crystallizes as imaginal blazing, as musical incandescence,” and we are swept along in its roaring tides to other shores. As Alexander writes, “What is most concerning language must never fail at convincing, at emancipating its readership via transgressive spiral."
“As readers of Alexander’s writing have come to expect, it is swarming with information from a vast library — like one lost in Alexandria — that the author has absorbed into his bloodstream: philosophy; science of all kinds from color theory to the study of insects and lemurs; alchemy, geography; the Dogon; mining in Zimbabwe in 41,000 B.C.; science fiction; and the output of little-known writers. And really this is just the tip of the iceberg.” — John Yau
“The desire in such writing is for a paradise of language, for the creation in language of a reality that uses particles that ignite new constellations as they foment interlocking nonsequitur constellations that ignite new constellations as they burst.” — Clayton Eshleman
“Will Alexander is our alchemist. We are his raw materials.” — Andrei Codrescu
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Essay. Hybrid. Poetics. African & African American Studies.
Born in 1948, Will Alexander is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, visual artist and pianist. He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001 and a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002. He was also the subject of a colloquium published in the prestigious African American cultural journal Callaloo in 1999. Author of 20 books (including MIRACH SPEAKS TO HIS GRAMMATICAL TRANSPARENTS, INSIDE THE EARTHQUAKE PALACE: 4 PLAYS, Aboce The Human Nerve Domain, and Exobiology As Goddess), Alexander has taught at various colleges including University of California, San Diego, New College (San Francisco, CA), Hofstra University, and Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, in addition to being associated with the nonprofit organization Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, serving at-risk youth. He is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles.