Natalie Diaz is a Mojave American poet, language activist, and educator. She is enrolled in the Gila River Indian Community.
Natalie Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the border of California, Arizona, and Nevada. She attended Old Dominion University where she played point guard on the women’s basketball team, reaching the NCAA Final Four as a freshman and the bracket of sixteen her other three years. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia, she returned to Old Dominion University, and completed an MFA in poetry and fiction in 2007.
Her work appeared in Narrative, Poetry magazine, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, and Crab Orchard Review.
Diaz’s debut book of poetry, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was a 2012 Lannan Literary Selection, a 2013 PEN/Open Book Award shortlist, and “portrays experiences rooted in Native American life with personal and mythic power.” One important focus of the book is a brother’s addiction to crystal meth.