Home / Sun Devil Shelf Life / Postcolonial Love Poem
Cover of Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
March 2020
Graywolf Press

College or Unit:

Postcolonial Love Poem

Natalie Diaz

"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 — a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love. 


Natalie Diaz is an associate professor of English in creative writing at ASU, where she holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.

Praise for this book

“(An) exquisite, electrifying collection ... Diaz continues to demonstrate her masterful use of language while reinventing narratives about desire.”

Publishers Weekly

"Natalie Diaz’s 'Postcolonial Love Poem' (Graywolf, Mar.) finds new ways to address how society renders black and brown women invisible."

Barbara Hoffert
Library Journal