Natalie Diaz

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.


  • 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…
  • 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?

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