Louis Clark’s Untitledtown Discussion

An Event Review by Larry P. Madden Louis Clark III

On a beautiful Sunday at Green Bay’s Untitledtown Festival, I found "How to be an Indian in the 21st Century" author Louis Clark III to be as gracious as his poetry is powerful. I was lucky enough to ride the elevator up with his grandchildren and son; his two granddaughters were glowing with pride. Telling anyone who would listen that they were about to see their grandfather. When his son was asked how he was handling his newfound fame, his son remarked he was enjoying the ride. Good for him I thought. I was soon to meet “Two Shoes," as he is known, as he personally came around the room and shook everyone’s hand that showed to participate in his presentation.

Clark took us on a journey through his life with stories and poetry. He elaborated on pieces from his book and visited both the dark and pleasant moments. His memories run the gauntlet from being bullied on the playground to being a little league coach. His poignant stories of discrimination at the workplace are a reality for many still today. His tales of perseverance to overcome these obstacles and lead his own crew were inspiring. The best of all was his tale of leaving pieces of poetry on the sites of their projects—little time capsules for others to one day discover.

Clark was genuinely one of the good people you sometimes hear about and are honored to meet. From the way he hugged his grandchildren to his kind words for everyone in the room, he extruded compassion. He was as engaging as his book was inspiring.

And about that book—I can’t recommend How to be an Indian in the 21st Century enough. I said as much in my review on this site, the May 2017 issue of Frankly Green Bay, and in Kalihwisaks. Clark is more than a ‘hometown boy makes good story’, he’s a poet whose work and passion for humanity is worth our time to listen to.

Larry P. Madden (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Wisconsin) was born and raised in the Sturgeon Bay area. A recent graduate of CMN, he enjoys the Powwow trail and strives to maintain balance on the red road.