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Sherman Alexie
Based on a handout from Mrs Kim's class

  • Born in 1966 on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Washington
  • Is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian. His father is a Coeur d'Alene while his mother is Spokane.
  • Was born hydrocephalic and had water in his brain. After extensive surgery when he was six months old, he was expected to suffer from mental retardation the rest of his life. The only results he suffered from the surgery were seizers and "uncontrollable bed-wetting"
  • Was reading at age 3 and read Grapes of Wrath at age 5
  • Attended Gonzaga University before transferring to Washington State University where he received a Bachelor's Degree in American studies
  • Alex Kuo was a teacher at WSU who greatly influenced Alexie
  • He has recieved the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book award, the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, as well as poetry fellowships from Washington State Art's Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, the Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor from Washington State University
  • Is a mentor in the PEN Emerging Writers program
  • Co-wrote the screenplay for Smoke Signals, which was based on his story entitled "This is What it Means to Say Pheonix, Arizona." He also composed several songs for the movie's soundtrack as well as music for other movie soundtracks
  • Alexie has had sixteen books of poetry, short stories, and novels published
  • He is a four time, world wide, Poetry Bout champion (you pull a word out of a hat, and make up a poem on the spot)
  • Alexie has also had several performances as a stand-up comedian including his debut at the Foolproof Northwest Comedy Festival and at the Vancouver Intarnational Comedy Festival
  • Currently resides in Seattle, WA with his wife and son.