Adrian C. Louis. Courtesy NativeWiki.

Adrian C. Louis (born 1947) is an American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His novel Skins (1995) discusses reservation life and issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and social problems. His work is noted for its realism.


Louis was born in northern Nevada in 1946, the eldest of 12 children. Of mixed heritage, he is of Lovelock Paiute descent. He moved from Nevada to South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation.[1]

Louis graduated from Brown University with a B.A. and M.A. in Creative Writing.[1]

Louis worked as a journalist and was editor of 4 tribal newspapers, a managing editor of Indian Country Today and a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association.[1]

Louis taught English at Pine Ridge's Oglala Lakota College from 1984 to 1997. Since 1999, he has taught in the Minnesota State University systems.[1]

Louis has published 10 books of poetry and 2 novels.[1]


His poetry and fiction have garnered him much recognition and awards. His work has been praised by some of the other notable modern Native American writers, including Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, James Welch and Leslie Marmon Silko.


Skins 2002 Trailer

Skins 2002 Trailer

In 1999, Louis was added to the Nevada Writer's Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was awarded the Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers and the Cohen Award for best published poem in Ploughshares.[1]

He is also the recipient of the Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the South Dakota Arts Council, the Nebraska Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lila Wallace–Reader's Digest Foundation.[1]

His novel Skins, about the relationship between 2 Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, was the basis for the 2002 film of the same name directed by Chris Eyre.[2]



  • The Indian Cheap Wine Seance: Poetry. Providence, RI: Gray Flannel Press, 1974.
  • Muted War Drums: Poems. Marvin, SD: Blue Cloud Quarterly, 1977.
  • Sweets for the Dancing Bears: Poems. Marvin, SD: Blue Cloud Quarterly, 1979.
  • Fire Water World: Poems. Albuquerque, NM: West End Press, 1989.
  • Among the Dog Eaters: Poems. Albuquerque, NM: West End Press, 1992.
  • Blood Thirsty Savages: Poems. New York: Time Being Books, 1994.
  • Days of Obsidian, Days of Grace: Sselected poetry and prose by four Native American writers (by Jim Northrup, Adrian C Louis, Denise Sweet, & Al Hunter). Duluth, MN: Poetry Harbor, 1994.
  • Vortex of Indian Fevers. Evanston, IL: TriQuarterly Books, 1995.
  • Ceremonies of the Damned: Poems. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 1997.
  • Skull Dance. Jamaica, VT: Bull Thistle, 1998.
  • Ancient Acid Flashes Back: Poems. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2000.
  • Bone & Juice. Evanston, IL: TriQuarterly Books, 2001.
  • Evil Corn. Granite Falls, MN: Ellis Press, 2004.
  • Logorrhea. Evanston, IL: TriQuarterly Books, 2006.
  • Archeology. Portland, OR: Tavern Books, 2011.
  • Savage Sunsets. Albuquerque, NM: West End Press, 2012.
  • Fire Water World / Among the Dog Eaters. Portland, OR: Tavern Books, 2014.


  • Skins: A novel. New York: Crown, 1995.

Short fictionEdit

  • Wild Indians, and other creatures. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 1996.


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[3]

Audio / videoEdit

'Savage Sunsets' by Adrian C

'Savage Sunsets' by Adrian C. Louis - Book Trailer

  • Skins (film, 2002) - Screenwriting

See alsoEdit


  • Kratzert, M. "Native American Literature: Expanding the canon", Collection Building Vol. 17, 1, 1998, 4.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Adrian C. Louis, Time Being Books. Web, Sep. 9, 2018.
  2. Skins (2002), Internet Movie Database. Web, July 10, 2018.
  3. Search results = au:Adrian C. Louis, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Nov. 16, 2014.

External linksEdit

Original Penny's Poetry Pages article, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0.