Natalie Díaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. She is 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as being awarded a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Díaz teaches at Arizona State University. [excerpted from Natalie G. Díaz home page]
Excerpt from My Brother at 3 A.M., by Natalie Díaz
Natalie Díaz’s pantoum uses repeating lines to tell a miniature story about a hallucinating son and a distraught mother. The two characters inhabit different worlds while they share the same sense of mounting desperation over their failure to connect. As Díaz depicts the scene, the son’s delusion that the Devil is after him transforms from a drug-induced psychosis to a frighteningly apt metaphor for the way his addicted state appears to his family.
Natalie Díaz’s poem will resonate with anyone who has worried about losing a loved one to drug addiction.
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