Adrian C. Louis


Adrian C. Louis was born and raised in northern Nevada, the eldest of twelve children. A half-breed Indian, he is an enrolled member of the Lovelock Paiute Indian tribe. Adrian is a graduate of Brown University where he also earned an M.A. in Creative Writing.

He is a former journalist and has been the editor of four tribal newspapers, including the Lakota Times and Indian Country Today. He was twice nominated for Print Journalist of the Year by the National Indian Media Consortium. He was also a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association. In 1999 he was elected to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

From 1984 until 1997, he taught English and writing at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. Since 1999 he has been an English professor in the Minnesota State University system.

Newsflash a new book: Evil Corn, new poems, is available.
Skins, the book, is available again, now in paperback.

The Modern American Poetry website has a section on Adrian C. Louis.

A short biography from the Internet Public Library's
Native American Author's Project is available.

Writing available online

That Indian I Hate Arrived Today
Note to a Young Rez Artist
This Ends With A Frozen Penis
Auntie Angie's Cheyenne Affair in Weber Studies
Song of the Snake and Adios Again, My Blessed Angel of Thunderheads and Urine
with RealAudio of Adrian reading. [From the Cortland Review]
Valentine from Indian Country
Medicine Song from The Circle
Ceremonies of the Damned from The Circle
Earth Bone Connected to the Spirit Bone (an essay from Ploughshares)
This Is the Time of Grasshoppers and All that I See Is Dying , from Ploughshares
One of the Grim Reaper's Disguises, from Ploughshares
Adiós Again, My Blessed Angel of Thunderheads and Urine, from Ploughshares
Rhetorical Judea from Ploughshares
Buffalo Spirit Song, from Ploughshares
Note to a Culture Vulture, from Ploughshares
Three short stories from Wild Indians & Other Creatures
Got Them Poetry Blues?, from A View from the Loft


Adrian was named Writer of the Yearin poetry for 2001 by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writer's and Storytellers for his book Ancient Acid Flashes Back.

Adrian is a recent recipient of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Bush Foundation Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His 1989 book of poems Fire Water World was a winner of the Poetry Center Book Award from the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University. He has received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Nebraska Arts Council in recognition of his "demonstrated excellence and quality in the literary arts in the state of Nebraska" in 1993.

Adrian has held a Resident Fellowship in Poetry at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM in the summer of 1977, an Artists Fellowship from the South Dakota Arts Council in May, 1989, in recognition of "a significant contribution to higher standards in the arts," from the Bush Foundation, St. Paul, MN in May 1990 for "exemplary artistic talent and demonstrated ability in work," and from the National Endowment for the Arts in Jan. 1992, given to "advance the careers of creative writers of exceptional talent."

He was nominated for "Journalist of the Year in Print Media" for his work as Editor of the Talking Leaf newspaper in Los Angeles for which he received an Honorable Mention at the Seventh Annual National Indian Media Conference in Minneapolis, March 1983. The next year, in Tulsa, he also received an Honorable Mention after being again nominated as "Journalist of the Year in Print Media" for his work as Managing Editor of the Lakota Times in Pine Ridge, SD.

Cover Drawing for Ceremonies of the Damned
Cover drawing for Ceremonies of the Damned, Nancy Nimoy

Books by Adrian C. Louis or containing his work       icon


Evil Corn, New Poems, Ellis Press.
Bone & Juice, Northwestern University Press, forthcoming spring 2001.
Ancient Acid Flashes Back (Western Literature Series), Univ of Nevada Press.
Skull Dance, Bull Thistle Press, Jamaica, VT, 1998.
Ceremonies of the Damned (Western Literature Series), Univ of Nevada Press, 1997.
Vortex of Indian Fevers, Northwestern Univ Press, 1995. (Hardcover)
Blood Thirsty Savages, Timeless Press, 1993. (Hardcover)
Days of Obsidian, Days of Grace, with Jim Northrup, Al Hunter, and Denise Sweet, 1994,
Poetry Harbor Press.
Among the Dog Eaters, West End Press, 1992.
A review of Among the Dog Eaters by Leslie Ulman from the Kenyon Review
Review of Among the Dog Eaters by Joe Napora in Bull Head
Fire Water World : Poems, West End Press, 1989.
Sweets for the Dancing Bears, Blue Cloud Abbey Press, 1979.
Muted War Drums Blue Cloud Abbey Press, 1977,
The Indian Cheap Wine Seance, Gray Flannel Press, 1974.

Prose       icon

Wild Indians & Other Creatures (Western Literature Series), Univ of Nevada Press, 1996, 1997. (Hardcover)
Review of Wild Indians & Other Creatures in the New York Times Book Section online edition.
Skins : A Novel , Crown Pub. , 1995.
Now a movie!
Now available again in paperback.

Anthologies       icon

How to Be This Man: The Walter Pavlich Memorial Poetry Anthology, Swan Scythe Press.
Identity Lessons: Contemporary Writing About Learning to Be American, 1998, Viking Penguin.
Desert Scroll: Nevada Fiction Writers, 1998, University of Nevada Press.
Literacy Matters: Writing in the Second Wave of Multiculturalism, 1997, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Changer l'Amerique, 1997, Maison de la Poesie, France.
Native American Songs and Poems : An Anthology (Dover Thrift Editions),
Brian Swann (Editor), Dover Pubns.
In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry, ed. Rebecca Presson, Vol. 4,
CD Album, Rhino Records, 1996.
The Pushcart Prize : Best of the Small Presses : 1994 - 1995, Vol. XIX,
Bill Henderson (Editor), Pushcart Press.
Scars : American Poetry in the Face of Violence, 1995, University of Alabama Press.
Atomic Ghosts, 1994, Coffee House Press.
Unsettling America : An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry,
Maria M. Gillan, Jennifer Gillan (Editors), Penguin USA
Studies in American Indian Literature, 1993, University of Richmond Press.
New Poets of the 90's, 1992, David R. Godine Publishing.
Desert Wood : An Anthology of Nevada Poets (Western Literature Series),
Shaun T. Griffin (Editor), Univ of Nevada Press. (Hardcover)
Circle of Motion : Arizona Anthology of Contemporary American Indian Literature,
K. Sands (Editor), Arizona Historical Foundation. (Hardcover)
The Remembered Earth : An Anthology of Contemporary Native American Literature
by Geary Hobson (Editor), Univ of New Mexico Press
Songs from This Earth on Turtle's Back : An Anthology of Poetry by American Indian Writers
by Joseph Bruchac (Editor), Greenfield Review Press
The Clouds Threw This Light, 1978, IAIA Press.

Published Interviews with Adrian    

Adrian C. Louis - Poet of Survival, Robert Berner, in World Literature Today [PDF]
Speaking the Unspoken: An Interview with Adrian C. Louis, by Michael Wilson, 1996,
Native Americas: Akwe:kon's Journal of Indigenous Issues, Vol. XIII, No. 3, p60.

Audio Recordings

In Their Own Voices: A Century of Recorded Poetry, ed. Rebecca Presson, Vol. 4,
CD Album, Rhino Records, 1996. Audio Cassette

In Association with

This is an "official" site in that this page was constructed with the assistance and active collaboration of the poet, Adrian C. Louis. The website "author" is Karen M. Strom

© 1997-2009 Adrian C. Louis and Karen Strom.

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