American Indian novelist, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie will speak on “Killing Indians: Myths, Lies, and Exaggerations” on Tuesday, March 27, at California State University, Fresno as the last presentation of the 2000-2001 University Lecture Series.
Alexie will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union and then will conduct a question-and-answer session and sign books. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door for general admission, $5 advance and $8 at the door for faculty, staff and Alumni Association members and $2 for students. Parking in lots J, O and P will be free.
In May 2000, Alexie’s collection of short stories, “The Toughest Indian in the World,” was published in an effort to further his intent to change the pop culture image of American Indians.
Alexie’s first screenplay, “Smoke Signals,” which was based on his book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” became the first feature film produced, written and directed by American Indians. “Smoke Signals” premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy.
Alexie won the World Heavyweight Championship Poetry Bout at the Taos Poetry Circus in 1998, 1999 and 2000, making him the first poet in the history of the event to hold the title for three consecutive years. In June 1999, “The New Yorker” named him one of the top 20 writers for the 21st century.
A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. As a student, his poetry-writing class professor quickly caught on to the “intensity of language, passion and energy” in his writings.
“The New York Times Book Review” described Alexie as “one of the major lyric voices of our time” after the publication of “The Business of Fancydancing,” his first collection of poetry.
Alexie compels the reader to look at the world from a different perspective to see its disappointments and possibilities through the blending of his experiences into humorous and thought-provoking pieces.
He will be working with a new production company, Search Party Films, to write and direct films.
For more information, call 278-2078.
Research assistance provided by Michelle Vieira, University Relations student intern.