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How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In deceptively simple prose and verse, Louis V. "Two Shoes" Clark III shares his life story, from childhood on the Rez, through school and into the working world, and ultimately as an elder, grandfather, and published poet. How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century explores Clark’s deeply personal and profound take on a wide range of subjects, from schoolyard bullying to wor ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published February 1st 2017 by Wisconsin Historical Society Press (first published January 26th 2017)
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Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Louis Clark's writing is fun, friendly, and real. His poetry and stories are based on his own experiences and bring you into his world. Earlier tonight I had the privilege of hearing him speak about this book and he is just as engaging , personable, and funny in person. As another reviewer stated, this book is enjoyable whether you like poetry or not. A unique and fast read. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I was looking for more from this book than I got.

It ends up reading like a poetry reading, where one poem leads into the next into the next, where there is not much distinction between narration and poem. It was difficult to parse out. If I were to sit and watch him perform the same material, I think I would give it a higher rating.

Thanks to the publisher for granting me an eARC through Edelweiss.
Eric Montag
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read a lot of poetry collections, but this one was worth it. Many of the poems involve rhyming, and that may turn some people off, but I thought the wording choices that he used were so clever. He really managed to paint vivid pictures with his poetry. I went to go see the author speak at my local library, and he did a great job talking about his childhood growing up as an Indian. I wish that I had read the collection AFTER hearing him speak, because then I probably could have read the p ...more
I am not a connoisseur of poetry, so I can not claim that any of it is great. But the originality of the way the author tells his story is what pulled me in. This is not my first collection of poetry I've delved into or the first time the writing stood out as different. I really liked reading this memoir. ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-17
Louis V. Clark III grew up on the Oneida Reservation near Green Bay during the 1960s. His memoir of what it's like growing up on the Rez is told in poetry and prose. Important contribution to our local and national culture. ...more
The Book Girl
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my new favorite books. I couldn't put it down. Review to come.

Jim Gallen
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is the viewpoint of a contemporary Indian expressed through his poetry. Author Louis V. Clark III, aka Two Shoes, is a half-white, half Oneida who grew up on the reservation near Green Bay, Wisconsin and still lives in the area.

Seemingly a state highway worker by day, Clark advanced his education and developed his poetry at night. The soul of poetry is not rhymes and measure, but art of transmitting the poet’s thoughts and feelings through the written word. “How To Be An Indian In The
Beth Withers
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest. I got this book as a review book through LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. If I had read closely enough and seen that this book contained poetry, I would not have chosen it. I am glad that I didn't read closely because I thoroughly enjoyed this book of poetry and prose, telling the story of being Native American in our modern world. While I enjoyed learning about the life of the author, this book made me do something that all good books do - think. I had not consider ...more
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Louis V. Clark's collection of poems presents an honest, in-depth autobiography of the challenges experienced on the reservation, blended with the joy he found in his family. His transitions between each poem, sometimes detailed, others in single sentences, weaves his story and brings the reader into each subsequent poem through curiosity. Many of his poems rhymed, and his free verse is compelling. I received this book as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer. ...more
Kate Cronin
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Clark (Two Shoes) is an Oneida poet who in this volume shares not only his poetry, but also personal narratives about his upbringing on the Oneida reservation in Wisconsin. His poems are whimsical, funny, poignant, sad and biting, and all reflect his personality and his lived experiences. I enjoyed this collection immensely and also the list of what he believes at the end of the book. He is a testament to the power of a good teacher to have a lifelong impact.
Thomas Cannon
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story Mr. Clark tells is fascinating. It's his story of growing up Native American in Wisconsin and facing racism, discrimination, and a difficult childhood. Don't worry though, Mr. Clark also focuses on humor and love. He reminds me of a priest our church had that told a homily and broke out into song to punctuate his points. Mr. Clark does that with his poetry.
Tonstant Weader
How to Be an Indian in the 21st Century is a poetry memoir written by Louis V. Clark III. Clark, who also goes by the name Two Shoes (as in Goody), is an Oneida Indian from Wisconsin. His book tells the story of his life and the poetry he wrote as he lived it. He began writing poetry when he was in sixth grade and he is quick to point out that a young Indian who writes poetry in elementary school is just naturally going to get beat up a lot.

Clark is a warmhearted storyteller, full of kindness an
Michelle Arredondo
An odd book. Odd title, odd cover, odd format, but oddly enough, not odd content, if that makes sense.

How To Be An Indian In The 21st Century. An intriguing title that I just had to learn more about.

Louis V. "two shoes" Clark III shares his life story. This life story is quite the journey as we go along with him through his memories and thoughts of his life on the reservation as a child, reminiscing about school...then to his life out in the work force and lastly as an old man...becoming a poet
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read that I wasn’t sure about at the beginning. Traditionally, I do not enjoy memoirs nor poetry. But after a few pages of this book, I knew it was different. With a simple writing style, the author shows who he is in meaningful and reflective ways. The combination of story and poetry intrigued me, and the local content (as well as the global impacts) caused me to reflect on old “facts”. So, even though this book took me less than two hours to read, its content will stay with me ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic. The author writes a memoir in a mixture of poetry and prose that keeps the reader moving in a flow of his story. Touching on some difficult topics, such as racism and prejudice, yet including feel-good poems such as Drunken Cow and Little League Pitcher, this memoir truly provides the voice of the author as he is able to share his darker moments but surrounds them with a positive outlook. I am now looking to read his next book, Rebel Poet.
Miz Lizzie
Sep 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indigenous, memoir, poetry
Louis V. Clark III (Oneida) shares insights into his life through a mix of prose and poetry. From how he learned he was Indian through playground taunts to workplace discrimination to his long marriage and six children to his thrill of first publication, Clark has documented his life through poetry. He shares his trials and his hard-won wisdom. An insightful and inspiring work from an Elder who has never given up on his dreams.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this. The world needs more diverse voices, more experiences shared. It just...didn't read very well for me?

[2 stars for diverse experiences and a voice I otherwise would not have heard.]
Summer Daye
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is very charming! I worked with the author for a very short while and when he told me he wrote a book I immediately purchased a copy. It gave great insight into a life lived very differently from my own, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read something so personal ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not usually a huge fan of poetry, but I love this book. It's got a rhythm to it that I can feel while I'm reading. This is an easy to read/understand book about the good and bad of one indigenous man's life. Would highly recommend. ...more
Jodie Thill
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful look at life. Appreciating the differences, understanding the plight of another, speaking the truth of his youth and his wisdom as an elder. The Epilogue is better than any self help book I have ever read.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: equity-related
It was a learning experience to read this. Inspiring in terms of writing poetry.
Marianne Potter
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Made me sad, laugh, and think. Well worth reading.
Beth Burnett
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Simple poems, profound stories
Matthew Stolte
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Don't be fooled by it's rhyming simplicity! Many insights to be found. ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
VERY big little book! Sure hoping to convince author to visit our library.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book about growing up Native in a white world. Some of the poetry was trite, some of it was gorgeous, some of it was full of Native humor. Reads fast.
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Written in a combination of rhyming and free verse, Clark provides unique insight into growing up in the Oneida tribe.
Barbara Lux
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2018
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