About this title:
Poetry. Native American Studies. Amongst the poems and prose of OLD SHIRTS & NEW SKINS appear illustrations by Elizabeth Woody, an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon. In the best tradition of confronting American reality and exacting vision and meaning from it, Sherman Alexie chooses to use poetic power. His vision is an amazing celebration of endurance, intimacy, love, and creative insight; finally, it is a victory that can be known only by a people who refuse to submit to the thieves, liars, and killers that have made them suffer tremendous loss and pain. "Like the woman who pours her life into a stew of survival, Sherman Alexie has created a meal, not for a reader to consume but for a reader to be changed by. Survival is being documented, changes measured"—Linda Hogan.
Sherman Alexie's poetic power renders an honest and painful perception of contemporary Native American life. In this collection, Alexie, a poet of the Coeur d'Alene people, speaks for the spirit of Native American resistance, determination, and sovereignty, compelling readers to confront reality with his honest and inspiring vision. Remarkable in its candor and gracefully constructed, this collection of poems binds us to the present and, at the same time, connects us to the voices of the past.
About the Author:
Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Shortly after graduating from Washington Statue University with a BA in American Studies, Alexie received the Washington State Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship in 1991 and the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship in 1992. In addition to "Old Shirts," he published two poetry collections, "The Business of Fancydancing" and "I Would Steal Horses," as well as a collection of short stories, "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven," in the early 1990s. He has received numerous awards: a PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award, and the Murray Morgan Prize for his first novel, "Reservation Blues." His second novel, "Indian Killer," published in 1996, was named one of People's Best of Pages and a New York Times Notable Book. In 1998, Alexie wrote a screenplay based on a short story, which was released as "Smoke Signals" and which won two awards--the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy--at the Sundance Film Festival. To date, Alexie has published 18 books. His most recent publication is "Flight," released in April 2007 from Grove / Atlantic. Alexie's first young adult novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," will be published in September 2007 by Little, Brown, and will include illustrations by Ellen Forney.
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