Montana State University

Author, poet Sherman Alexie set to speak in Bozeman as part of MSU arts series

March 6, 2015 -- MSU News Service

A lecture by celebrated American Indian author Sherman Alexie will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in the Emerson’s Crawford Theater as part of the President’s Fine Art Series at Montana State University. The event is free and open to the public. Photo by Rob Casey.

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
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BOZEMAN – A lecture by celebrated author Sherman Alexie will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 28, in the Emerson’s Crawford Theater as part of the President’s Fine Art Series at Montana State University. The event is free and open to the public.

His talk will continue this year’s fine arts series, which is titled “Creative Nations,” a celebration of Native arts and creativity. The series will continue on Sunday, March 29, with a 2 p.m. showing of the film “Winter in the Blood” at the Emerson's Crawford Theater. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the film’s directors, Alex and Andrew Smith, producer Sherman Alexie and lead actor, Chaske Spencer.

Alexie, a prolific and award-winning author, poet, screenwriter and orator who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, was named one of The New Yorker's 20 top writers for the 21st century. An article in the New York Times Book Review described him as “one of the major lyric voices of our time.”

According to his professional biography, it wasn’t until a professor at Gonzaga University recognized his “intensity of language, passion, and energy” that he fully committed to writing. With that, he dropped his goal of attending medical school. Shortly after, his first books of poetry were published.

Alexie’s novels “Reservation Blues,” “Indian Killer” and “The Toughest Indian in the World” have won numerous awards. His anthology of new stories and beloved classics, “Blasphemy,” was included on numerous lists of 2012’s best books. The National Book Award-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” was named the best Young Adult Book of all time by Time magazine.

In 1998, Alexie wrote and produced the film “Smoke Signals,” an adaptation of his book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” The movie went on to win the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. He made his directorial debut with 2002’s “The Business of Fancydancing.”

“Winter in the Blood” is based on a novel of the same name by Jim Welch, who grew up in Browning and whose mother was a member of the Gros Ventre tribe and father was a member of the Blackfeet tribe.

The film follows the story of Virgil First Raise, who is down on his luck and trying to piece his life together as he seeks his estranged wife. His quest leads him to Yellow Calf, an old blind man who lives in the mountains and helps First Raise grasp the truth of his origins.

Both Alexie’s visit and the showing of “Winter in the Blood” are sponsored by MSU’s Office of the President and the College of Arts and Architecture.

For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit: http://www.montana.edu/caa/pfas/index.html.

Contact: JoDee Palin, (406) 994-4406 or jpalin@montana.edu.