Saturday, August 22, 2009


There is something about the way Sherman Alexie writes, some way he has of stringing together words and syllables, that is almost melodic. So it seems only natural that he has published a book of poetry. Face is very similar to his prose works (Flight, The Lone Ranger and Tonto fistfight in heaven) in that many of the themes arise from the experiences of contemporary Native Americans. The poems in Face are much more auto-biographical than his novels, however, and many of them are his thought processes and emotions spilled out onto the page in a style that is almost stream-of-consciousness. They're funny, they're bleak, they're raw and open and frank. I would love to go on in more detail, but I think quoting lines of poetry out of context of the whole doesn't do justice to the poems. I will say, though, that this is a wonderful book, and I sincerely hope he reads a few selections when he appears at the 2010 conference of the Alaska Library Association.

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