The Summer of Black Widows

ISBN: 1882413350
ISBN 13: 9781882413355
By: Sherman Alexie

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About this book

Poetry. Native American Studies. THE SUMMER OF BLACK WIDOWS presents poetry that has continued to grow in power, complexity, and vision. According to reviewer James R. Kincaid, "Mr. Alexie's is one of the major lyric voices of our time," and the many honors and an international following of readers from his poems, stories, and novels proves the claim. Chris Faatz from The Nation agrees, calling Alexie "a young writer who is taking the literary world by storm...a superb chronicler of the Native American experience...he is a master of language, writing beautifully, unsparingly and straight to the heart."

Reader's Thoughts


I'm not always a big fan of poetry - much of it is too esoteric and "high-falutin'" for my tastes -- but I'm a big fan of Alexie's fiction. I really enjoyed this book of poems. It's written in "everyday" language, thus avoiding the making-it-hard-to-follow problem. Alexie writes about subjects that we can all relate to (love, fear, Bigfoot), but comes from his own unique perspective. The poems are organized into sections, each with a particular theme. But it's possible to read a little bit at a time, here & there, and still enjoy them.


This a superb collection of poetry.


The Summer of Black Widows by Sherman Alexie (1996)

Brett Axel

I cried.


What a marvel of a book! My favorite poems were "Totem Sonnets" and "Sonnet: Tattoo Tears" (which is among the greatest sonnets I've read). I wish our poetry group would address these two poems. I look forward to reading more of his poetry. Alexie's short story, "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem," is also a marvel. (I don't know if I'd go so far as the prior reviewer to say that I'd have his children, but I'd definitely baby-sit, free of charge).


Another great selection of free verse poetry from Alexie.


Amazing. Seriously. I'm not a huge poetry fan. I really don't enjoy sitting and reading it at all, but this was just incredible. It is almost worth reading the terrible books by Momaday and Vizenor in Native American Literature to stumble on this one. I'm considering which poems I might be able to use in my classroom. Alexie is the kind of poet who makes every other poet want to just give up.


I've been hearing a lot about Sherman Alexie lately, so I had to try him out. I haven't read such engaging poetry for a long time, and I enjoyed the balance of simple and complicated. He had both pleasing imagery and thought-provoking stories to tell. Because I heard he writes children and young adult books, some of the topics surprised me. I can't wait to read more by Alexie, and plan to read and then watch The Business of Fancydancing in the next few weeks.


This was the featured book on my favorite nationally-broadcast poetry show 1/22/12, and I am happy it was. Sherman Alexie tells us about so much, and does it so well, with poetic structures and references that are both familiar and refreshing. Magic is never far away, but no nearer than the day-to-day pain of poverty, diabetes, alcoholism and PTSD. We see the light, smell the fire, feel the blood the characters encounter in these poems, are invited to share myth and mystery, and to see Walt Whitman shoot baskets with a bunch of muscular young men on the res.


Loved these poems.


Fantastic poems. Really lovely and haunting.




The first book of Sherman's poetry that I read. Its brilliant, funny, sad, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Robyn Groth

Sherman Alexie makes amazing use of repetition and exclamations. Wow, what exclamations! And the repetition. The repetition and the exclamations draw you in and make you feel the energy of the speaker.


BY SHERMAN ALEXIE!!! Alexie's voice is full of truth. Here is a man who knows about America and its elusive dreams.

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