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

Robert Bason

I had to read this a few pieces at a time, because of the intensity. This is an early work by Alexie and it shows a little. It is mostly whose prose poetry, some quite interesting. I'm glad I read it, as it gives clearly that promise as a terrific writer which he has now accomplished.


SometimesI wonderif ShermanAlexieis justmessingwith methe way/he creates unique forms/on the page/the lines centered/or justified/or separated/with slashes./But then/he creates/beauty/out of fry bread/and Pepsi/and basketball/and alcohol/and I turn/the page/one more/time.1.I like the following pieces because of their form:--Year of the Indian, Fire Storm, Family Cookbook2.I like the following pieces because of their final lines:--Tiny Treaties ("because I don't want to know the truth")--Split Decisions ("he stood up")3.I like the following pieces just because:--Freaks, I Would Steal Horses, All I Wanted to Do Was Dance


I cook in this!


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


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!

James R. C. Baker Baker

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


The alcoholic love poems...


I love Sherman Alexie.


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.

Eva Sanchez


Ginny Page

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


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."

tartaruga fechada

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


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.


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.

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