Savage Sunsets

Oct 31st, 2013 | By | Category: 25-2: Tribal and Behavioral Health, Media Reviews

West End Press (2012)

Review by Jerry Worley

Hoka Hey! Indeed, it is a good day to…well, read Savage Sunsets, a compilation of poems by the coolest, hippest, harshest, funniest, quixotic storyteller of all: Adrian C. Louis (Lovelock Paiute). This fully unadulterated collection of verse projects the reader into the magnificent beauty of a backward dream of days gone by and to the current edges of the bleak and fractured margins of American society. Louis writes in a style reminiscent of Ken Kesey. The acclaimed versifier takes a trip on his rocket ship to the tortured sun dancing corners of his mind, pulling back on the groaning leather and cottonwood poles of both the agony and ecstasy of his passionate memories and beliefs.

Louis lets his colorful thoughts explode through the simple manifestation of black ink on white paper. He juxtaposes western Native American culture against the overwhelming (and mostly unwanted) whiteness pressed into his world. “The Warpath” and “The Tattered Flags of the Four Directions” are classics within an assemblage of masterpieces. This collection is an indispensable slice of Native American poetry that belongs in every university library—and especially those of tribal colleges.

Jerry Worley, Ed.D., is an associate professor of education in the Education Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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