Hawk Moon: A Book of Short Stories, Poems, and Monologues.
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1973

New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1981

Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon. London: Faber and Faber, 1985.


In this collection of more than fifty monologues, short stories and poems - Shepard's first - one of America's most acclaimed writers and actors reflects on growing up in America, rock and roll, the sex of fishes, and other topics. Shepard displays his virtuosic sense of the rhythms of the American landscape.


London Review
Described as Ďa book of short stories, poems and monologuesí, thereís something scrappy and inconsequential, lightweight, about the collection. There are breathless, unpunctuated prose-poems and cute little seven or eight-liners in free verse in the style of Richard Brautigan. The stories are stronger, but with a maximum length of four pages they are often too tersely anecdotal to gather real momentum. The best are sharp, macabre histories of urban fear and violence...

What becomes increasingly clear is that Shepard is ill at ease in his own voice (where the poems come from) and not too certain of his role as detached narrator either. The atmosphere is ostentatiously anti-cultural, sometimes gratuitously distasteful; the tone is strident, tough, out to shock. Itís like Rimbaud on the rampage, without much trace of the literary talent. Six or seven times, however, he really hits his stride and itís usually when heís dealing with the parts of America he loves; or finds fluency and poise in the monologue of an assumed personality...

For Shepard the two Americas exist simultaneously: the mechanised world of motor-car, radio culture, rootlessness and nuclear threat; and the ancient, often mythical world of the Frontier, the Wild West, the prairies, Indian spells and superstitions.