Sherman Alexie

Illinois Wesleyan, Illinois State to Welcome Sherman Alexie

September 20, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Sherman Alexie, acclaimed novelist, poet and screenplay writer, will visit the Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State University campuses on Tuesday, Oct. 4, for the 4th Annual Ames/Milner Visiting Author Program. 

Raised on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Wash., Alexie has garnered fame for his candid and witty portrayal of modern life as an American Indian.  His first two poetry collections, The Business of Fancy Dancing and I Would Steal Horses, were published just one year after his graduation from Washington State University.  To date, Alexie has published 17 books, including his latest short story collection, Ten Little Indians.

In addition to writing, Alexie has performed readings, stand-up comedy and recorded an album, Reservation Blues (also the name of his first novel) with American Indian musician Jim Boyd. 

Prior to his visit, the film Smoke Signals, which Alexie adapted from his first short story collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, will also be shown at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, in the Hansen Student Center (300 E. Beecher St., Bloomington). 

When Smoke Signals was released in 1998, it won the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy from the Sundance film festival, as well as other awards from other film bases.

Following is a schedule of events for the Visiting Author Program on Oct. 4:

  • 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Brief remarks with question and answer period at ISU’s Milner Library (201 N. School St., Bloomington)
  • 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.: Presentation, “The Business of Fancy Dancing: Poems, Stories, Punch Lines and Highly Biased Anecdotes,” with question and answer period at Westbrook Auditorium, Presser Hall (1210 Park St., Bloomington)
  • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Book signing in the John Wesley Powell Rotunda of The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington)

For more information about the Ames/Milner Visiting Author Program, contact Lynda Duke, public services librarian and assistant professor, at (309) 556-3220.

Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181