PBS SUMMER RECOMMENDATION: NATALIE DIAZ
Posted on June 19 2020
Postcolonial Love Poem is a thunderous river of a book, an anthem of desire against erasure. It demands that every body carried in its pages - bodies of language, land, suffering brothers, enemies and lovers - be touched and held. Here, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic, and portrayed with a glowing intimacy: the alphabet of a hand in the dark, the hips' silvered percussion, a thigh's red-gold geometry, the emerald tigers that leap in a throat. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dune fields and forests where pleasure and love are both grief and joy, violence and sensuality. Diaz defies the conditions from which she writes, a nation whose creation predicated the diminishment and ultimate erasure of bodies like hers and the people she loves. Her poetry questions what kind of future we might create, built from the choices we make now - how we might learn our own cures and 'go where there is love'.
Natalie Diaz is from Fort Mojave in Needles, California, on the Colorado River. She is Mojave and enrolled in the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec won an American Book Award. She is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded the Holmes National Poetry Prize. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the United States Artists. Diaz is Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry and directs the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University.
Postcolonial Love Poem is available to pre-order here ahead of it's publication in mid July. PBS Members get 25% off.