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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poet Natalie Diaz, interviewed by Joshua Bartlett

"What is the United States if not a clot of clouds? If not spilled milk? Or blood? If not the place we once were in the millions? America is Maps— Maps are ghosts: white and layered with people and places I see through."

From “They Don’t Love You Like I Love You,” published in Postcolonial Love Poem, Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz, 2020 National Book Award Finalist for Poetry, 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 newest collection, Postcolonial Love Poem (March 2020, Greywolf) has received critical acclaim. “Diaz’s collection is no doubt one of the most important poetry releases in years, one to applaud for its considerable demonstration of skill, its resistance to dominant perspectives and its light wrought of desire.”―The New York Times Book Review

Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. She is 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and a US Artists Ford Fellow. She teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program.

Joshua Bartlett received his Ph.D. in English from the University at Albany, State University of New York, his M.A. in English from Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and his B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Joshua researches, writes, and teaches at Bilkent University in Turkey in the areas of early and nineteenth-century American literature, Native American literature, literatures of the Americas, poetry studies, and ecocriticism.

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