The Summer of Black Widows

ISBN: 1882413350
ISBN 13: 9781882413355
By: Sherman Alexie

Check Price Now


Currently Reading Favorite Authors Favorites Fiction Literature Non Fiction Poems Poetry Sherman Alexie To Read

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

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.


These poems are a pleasure to read. Plus, there's a lot of them. It bothers me when poets put out a collection of 60 pages of poetry for $16. Alexie has 139 pages here. He continues to use "Indian" images of salmon, rivers, (fancy) dancing, as well as images from his past like basketball. The loss of his sister and brother-in-law surfaces again (And why shouldn't it? I would never get over that either!). Although most of the poems here are free verse, there's an occasional form like the villanelle. Alexie also works in some killer rhymes (regular and near) throughout some of his poems. He sometimes relies on repetition, but that doesn't bother me too much. The repetition is sort of like the pounding of a trival drum. (I bet Alexie would hate that I made that comparison. Ha!)My favorite poems:That Place Where Ghosts of Salmon JumpTotem SonnetsElegiesSister Fire, Brother SmokeThe Lover of MapsDrum as Love, Fear, and PrayerLast Will and TestamentCapital PunishmentThe Sasquatch PoemsInside Dachau


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.




Fantastic poems. Really lovely and haunting.


Loved these poems.




This a superb collection of poetry.


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.


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


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.


The Summer of Black Widows by Sherman Alexie (1996)


Another great selection of free verse poetry from Alexie.


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).

Brett Axel

I cried.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *