Mojave poet, writer and basketball player
Natalie Diaz (born September 4, 1978) is a Native American poet, language activist, former professional basketball player and educator.
- I had to be willing to risk myself for what I wanted. And I want desire; I want to be capable of it. I want to be deserving of it.
- On the conflicting nature of her racial and religious identities in “Natalie Diaz: 'It is an important and dangerous time for language'” in The Guardian (2020 Jul 2)
- Poetry was an unlikely place for me to land … I mean, who says: ‘I’m going to be a poet when I grow up’? I grew up on a reservation and we had a boarding school where language was taken.
- On becoming a poet in “Natalie Diaz: 'It is an important and dangerous time for language'” in The Guardian (2020 Jul 2)
- In Mojave, our words for want and need are the same – because why would you want what you don’t need?
- On the dual meaning of words in “Natalie Diaz: 'It is an important and dangerous time for language'” in The Guardian (2020 Jul 2)
- Maybe a wound is a way of seeing into someone. Or maybe it is an opening into the person who inflicted the wound. I don’t need the wounds to disappear, but I want to give them the possibility to flower or tu’aachk, as we might say in Mojave. I can’t deny my wounds, those I’ve gathered across my own body and mind, as well as those I have inflicted on others’ bodies and minds. I can try to imagine a condition in which the wound will bloom, meaning a place beyond the wound…
- On the symbolism of a wound in “A CONVERSATION WITH NATALIE DIAZ” in Adroit Journal (March 2020)
- I am Native, so I am both—truth/fiction—and also bleeding over or overflowing each. Truth is always a placeholder for something. For how we feel, or how we want to feel, how we wished we didn’t feel. Things we wish we’d done, or hadn’t done, hadn’t enjoyed doing. The way we handle or mishandle our wounds, and try to hold them up and look through them, like mirrors, to be seen, no matter how opaque and obstructed they are. You can’t trust truth. But then, even the word trust. . . what is that a placeholder for?
- On how her writing handles the theme of truth in “THE PEN TEN: AN INTERVIEW WITH NATALIE DIAZ” in PEN America (2020 March 5)