Postcolonial Love Poem – Natalie Diaz
WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE IN POETRY
SHORTLISTED FOR THE FORWARD PRIZE FOR BEST COLLECTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE T. S. ELIOT PRIZE
POETRY BOOK SOCIETY RECOMMENDATION
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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.
Natalie 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’.
About the Author
Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, won an American Book Award. Her second collection is Postcolonial Love Poem (2020). She is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, as well as a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded the Holmes National Poetry Prize and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the United States Artists, where she is an alumnus of the Ford Fellowship. Diaz is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.
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