Tags: Cultural Criticism; Education; Politics

Natalie Diaz


Natalie Diaz is a poet and Mojave language activist. When My Brother Was an Aztec, a collection of her poems, was published in 2012. A member of the Gila River Indian Community, Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She earned a BA from Old Dominion University, where she received a full athletic scholarship for basketball. Diaz then played professionally in Europe and Asia before returning to Old Dominion to earn an MFA.

Diaz has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA program and partnered with Arizona State University by directing the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, which worked closely with the last speakers of the Mojave language. Her honors and awards include the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Diaz currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona.

It Was the Animals | poem | Poetry Foundation
Abecedarian Requiring Further Examination of Anglikan Seraphym Subjugation of a Wild Indian Rezervation | poem | Poetry Foundation
A Poetry Portfolio: Featuring Five of Our Country’s Finest Native Poets | essay | Poets.org
Diaz Says Life in the Fort Mojave Indian Village Informs Her Work | interview | ASU Now
Conversation: Poet Natalie Diaz | interview | PBS

Festival Years: 2018

Recommended Reading

When My Brother Was an Aztec