First Indian on the Moon

ISBN: 1882413024
ISBN 13: 9781882413027
By: Sherman Alexie

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About this book

Poetry. Native American Studies. FIRST INDIAN ON THE MOON opens with the section "Influences": "where I have been/ most of my lives/ is where I'm going/--Lucille Clifton." The stories and poems of Sherman Alexie, an enrolled Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian from Wellpint, Washington, have appeared widely, in such publications as Caliban, Esquire, The World, Beloit Poetry Journal, Red Dirt, Zyzzyva and Story. Alexie has won a National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship, and lives in Spokane. "These elegiac poems and stories will break your heart. Watch this guy. He's making myth"--Joy Harjo.

Reader's Thoughts


With the exception of some poignant poetry that I really enjoyed 3/4 of the way through the book, I have come to the realization that I prefer Alexie's linear prose, complete with full character development, like Flight or Absolutely True Diary. But thank you to Alison for lending me this book!


3 and a half stars

Ginny Page

One of the books that brought the manna to earth for me. Poetry was not only accessible but attainable through Alexie.


still good stuff, but his more recent poetry is funnier.


Might be one of my favorite Alexie's... and I don't even like poetry! (most of the time)


Structurally the poems/stories in this collection are quite innovative and sophisticated. Now he's using form to sharpen the focus of his message. He carries forward the emotion from Fancydancing, but now the repeated images and settings and characters are working as his private symbolism. Many of the pieces have the appearance of prose poems, but function more like stories. It's like he's not quite reading to make the break from poetry to prose.

Loren Toddy

An okay book but it wasn't my cup of tea. I prefer his short stories and novels it seems.


One of Sherman Alexie's earlier works, powerful and complex. He's a great writer and portrayer of the lives and experiences of Native American people, showing readers from other subcultures how we're all alike in some ways but very different in others. My wife and I had the chance to hear him speak once and he was as good a speaker as he is a writer. I can't recommend his work highly enough.


I cook in this!


This is a great collection of Alexie's poetry and super-short stories (often less than a page). In particular, I love the tiny stories. It's like a postage stamp because it includes a minuscule but complete picture.


I love Sherman Alexie's work; but I did not like this book much at all. It is full of lovely poetry, but the main theme is alcoholism -- and I found that tedious and unenjoyable. I don't want to read poetry about alcoholism. I have no tolerance for alcoholism -- I've seen it destroy too many family members. Not My Thing.

Eva Sanchez



Sherman Alexie is one of the most prolific Native American authors I have come across. His writing is simple but lyrical. Mistreatment in reservation life is dominant in this book of poems and short stories and his personal experiences (including alcoholism) make appearances in the work. My favorite poems are "Influences" and "Tiny Treaties."

James R. C. Baker Baker

Irresistible revelations: "All the Skinswould laugh into their fistsat my wake."

tartaruga fechada

This.Listen: imagination is all we have as defense against capture and its inevitable changes.

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