Author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie, one of The New Yorker’s “20 Writers for the 21st Century,” brings his passion and energy for language and narrative, sharing tales of contemporary American Indian life using razor-sharp humor, unsettling candor, and biting wit, at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4. 

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in partnership with the Department of English Visiting Writer Series, Alexie’s spoken word performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, but it wasn't until a college creative writing professor recognized his interest, passion, and talent that he fully committed to writing. Inspired by poetry written by Native Americans, he published his first work, “The Business of Fancydancing: Stories and Poems,” in 1992.

This started his writing career, which has resulted in novels such as “Reservation Blues,” “Indian Killer,” and “The Toughest Indian in the World,” all of which have won numerous awards and accolades. The National Book Award-winning “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” topped Time magazine’s “100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time,” released earlier this year.

In 1998, Alexie wrote and produced “Smoke Signals,” a film adaptation of his book “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.” The movie won both the Audience Award and Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. Alexie received the 2014 Literature Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and serves as the guest editor of "The Best American Poetry 2015."

The Center for the Arts and Virginia Tech’s Department of English are hosting a craft talk with Alexie at 5 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Moss Arts Center Cube. Alexie will discuss his approach to writing and will participate in a question-and-answer session.

Alexie will also participate in a roundtable discussion with members of the student organization Native@VT and Virginia Tech Native American faculty and staff. The discussion will be moderated by Karenne Wood, director of the Virginia Indian Heritage program at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Visit the Moss Arts Center’s Grand Lobby before Alexie’s performance on Nov. 4 to learn about the past, present, and future of Virginia Native American tribes with a variety of displays from campus organizations, including Native@VT, the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science at Virginia Tech, and the Department of Sociology’s American Indian Studies program. The display will also feature a series of photographs from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ “Virginia Indians Family Portraits” collection.

Immediately following the performance, Alexie will be available in the Moss Arts Center Grand Lobby for a free book signing event. His books will also be available for purchase.


Tickets are $25 for general admission and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.



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