By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Sources: Columbia University, NatalieGermaineDiaz.com and PoetryFoundation.org (Information):
Pictures: Columbia University: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (Courtesy):
New York, New York: Poet Natalie Diaz won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry on Friday, June 11th, 2021 for her book, “Postcolonial Love Poem.”
“Postcolonial Love Poem” is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s brilliant second collection demands that every body carried in its pages―bodies of language, land, rivers, suffering brothers, enemies, and lovers―be touched and held as beloveds. Through these poems, the wounds inflicted by America onto an indigenous people are allowed to bloom pleasure and tenderness: “Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. Let me call it, a garden.” In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic. In claiming this autonomy of desire, language is pushed to its dark edges, the astonishing dunefields 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: “I am doing my best to not become a museum of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.”
“Postcolonial Love Poem” unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope―in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
Before winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize, “Postcolonial Love Poem” was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award, the 2020 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2020 Forward Prize for Best Collection as well as was also shortlisted for the 2020 T.S. Eliot Prize.
Natalie Diaz winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry had people cheering with excitement in the small Colorado River desert community of Needles, California.
Natalie Diaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe.
Natalie Diaz was born on September 4th, 1978 in the Colorado River desert community of Needles, California where she was raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village.
People who know Natalie Diaz were expecting on social media their congratulations and how proud they were of Natalie Diaz winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and some people hope the City of Needles can recognize Natalie Diaz with a proclamation for her winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
In addition to being an author, Natalie Diaz received her bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University in 2000, played on Old Dominion University’s women’s basketball team and later professionally in Europe and Asia, completed her MFA in poetry and fiction in 2006, returned to Old Dominion University for a master’s degree in fine arts which she received in 2007, and is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University.
Natalie Diaz is 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow.
In the past, Natalie Diaz has been awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as being awarded a US Artists Ford Fellowship.
Natalie Diaz’s first poetry collection “When My Brother Was an Aztec” was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012.
ZachNews and the community congratulates Natalie Diaz for winning the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.