Lewis Grandison Alexander (July 4, 1900 — 1945) was born in Washington, DC, and educated in DC Public Schools and at Howard University and the University of Pennsylvania. He began writing poetry at age 17, and had a particular affinity for Japanese traditional verse forms such as haiku (sometimes called hokku) and tanka. As he wrote in an essay in the December 1923 issue of The Crisis, “Japanese Hokkus”: “Its real value is not in its physical directness but in its psychological indirectness—not in what is said but what is suggested—written in the spaces between the lines.”
Alexander was a member of the Playwriters Circle, the Randall Community Center Players and the Ira Aldridge Players, all based in DC, where he wrote plays, acted, and designed costumes. Alexander also starred in the original Broadway production of Salome in 1923.
His poems were published in a number of journals, including The Crisis, The Messenger, Opportunity, Palms, Black Opals, and Saturday Evening Quill, as well as the only issue of Fire!!. He guest edited a special “Negro Number” of the journal Carolina Magazine at the University of North Carolina in 1927. His work was included in the anthologies The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke, Ebony and Topaz, edited by Charles S. Johnson, and Caroling Dusk, edited by Countee Cullen.