Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Postcolonial Love Poem” as Want to Read:
Postcolonial Love Poem
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Postcolonial Love Poem

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  2,039 ratings  ·  339 reviews
Natalie Diaz’s highly anticipated follow-up to When My Brother Was an Aztec, winner of an American Book Award

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
Paperback, 107 pages
Published March 2020 by Graywolf Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Postcolonial Love Poem, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Postcolonial Love Poem

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,039 ratings  ·  339 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Postcolonial Love Poem
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A remarkable poetry collection. There is such range in these poems, stylistically, thematically. I had to look up so many words. Diaz has one hell of a vocabulary and the sound and feel of her language offers such pleasure. This is a trenchant work about culture and water and oppression and desire and family and lineage. The longer poems are really something special. The exhibits from the American Water Museum is the real standout in this collection. Excellent sophomore effort.
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Atri

It is hard not to have faith in this,’ Natalie Diaz writes in her 2021 Pulitzer Prize winning collection Postcolonial Love Poem. There is a deep faith in what is possible that permeates this collection despite the deep dives of poetic investigation of colonialism that afflicts both the national level but the individual level as well. This collection is a beautiful celebration of indigenous lives while also demanding a reckoning of the loss and erasure
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Postcolonial Love Poem

...The war ended
depending on which war you mean: those
we started,
before those, millennia ago and onward,
those which started me, which I lost and
won -
these ever-blooming wounds.

Natalie Diaz lends a robust voice to the oppressed minority community of Native Americans - her tone is not one of bitter and acerbic criticism though, but an optimistic assertion of racial identity, memory and desire. She creates a palimpsest from a history that has been denied, an identity that has
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Phenomenal collection. Sometimes the language was so complex it did fly over my head a little bit, but I'm sure I'm going to get more from these words every single time I read them. ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This was one of my highly anticipated reads for National Poetry Month after really loving her last collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec. There are some poems in this collection about her brother, but far more about romantic love (delightfully steamy!)... Other themes include the disappearing indigenous people (due to increasing violence and other types of erasure) and... basketball/

Some of my favorites in the first reading were American Arithmetic and Ode to the Beloved's Hips.

Here is a vide
My favorite poem in this collection is "The First Water is the Body". I think everyone should read this poem, it is not only passionate, it makes you feel how urgent it is that we all see how much a part of us water is. And when she speaks of her lover, those parts are beautiful, I must keep going back to them. It´s such a beautiful collection, straight to my favorite books of poetry ever.

"I arrive at you-half bestia, half feast."
Well with only a day spent listening to her, it is immediately clear to me she is one of the greatest contemporary poets I have come across so far. This collection is a masterpiece and the title poem in particular seems destined to be anthologised indefinitely. Hopefully this will end up winning all the damn prizes.

Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Miigwech to @graywolfpress for the gifted copy.

“In American imaginations, the logic of this image will lend itself to surrealism or magical realism—

Americans prefer a magical red Indian, or a shaman, or a fake Indian and a red dress, over a real Native. Even a real Native caring the dangerous and heavy blues of a river in her body.

What threatens white people is often dismissed as myth. I've never been true in America. America is my myth.”

Postcolonial Love Poem by queer writer Natalie Diaz (Moj
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The title is apt for this one. This collection includes not only poems about romantic love, but also love for the land and water, her brother, and Native peoples. Wonderful use of language in these beautiful poems.
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will for once agree with the blurb of a poetry collection: Postcolonial Love Poem is a thundering river of a book; I found myself drinking hungrily at the mouth of nearly every poem within. The stream of Natalie Diaz's voice flows clear and intensely lyrical, each poem an assertion of being, of beating, of grief and loss and passion and ecstacy. Each poem is, too, a body—of water, of a lover, of brownness in a land made forcibly white, of Native Americans who have long been and continue to ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, lgbt
I first became aware of Natalie Diaz's work when I heard her read at the Cork International Poetry Festival. She held the whole audience spellbound: there was an audible intake of breath after every poem she read. Her work is fearless and passionate. As I listened to her read, I felt like she was creating a new horizon -- making a psychic space beyond anything I had experienced before. I was not the only person crying when she finished reading. So I've been anticipating this collection for a lon ...more
Rich, lyrical collection of poems invoking the entire world-vein in its ambitious, occasionally sardonic, yet ultimately tender purview. These are poems of transformation and sublimation: infused with minerals, ores, gems, bodies of water, Native bodies; they dazzle and gleam with language, with science. Natural indigenous stories are excavated, their geologies and archeologies are unrooted by Diaz's encyclopaedic, masterful grasp of language, translation and myth. We breeze past Biblical, Greek ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetshere
In Mojave, our words for want and need are the same – because why would you want what you don’t need?

There was an initial uncertainty about this collection. This was resolved about a third of the way through with a sweeping disquisition on the Colorado River and the act of translation as the aquifer of the soul. The crushing weight of history is prominent here. Vanity and materialism jeer like cranky crows. Addiction is a sour wind. The only true paths are obscured, half-hidden and sometimes jut
Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)
Some of my favorites from this:

"The First Water Is the Body"
"exhibits from The America Water Museum"
"It Was the Animals"
"American Arithmetic"
"They Don't Love You Like I Love You"
and pretty much any poem with the basketball + indigeneity + siblings combo
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am a simple fiction boy, but I do like to dip my toes into the dark arts of poetry.

This is an excellent collection with lean, powerful writing.

I wish we had more writers like Natalie Diaz in the world.
Patricia Murphy
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I relate viscerally to the brother poems.

One way to open a body to the stars, with a knife. One way to love a sister, help her bleed light.

Let me call my anxiety, desire, then. Let me call it, a garden.

Is this the glittering world I’ve been begging for?

What do you call a group of worms if not a worry, if not a wonder?

I have a name, yet no one who will say it not roughly.

Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
RTC maybe???

(Any work that includes a quote from Robyn Rihanna Fenty deserves all the stars)
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
“Do you think the water will forget what we have done, what we continue to do?” This collection is a stunning gathering of language, ancestry, and anguish. Pay attention to the way each line moves into the next into the next (not unlike the way a river moves); writing of and about the body bringing itself to yours.
Dec 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"How can I translate – not in words, but in belief – that a river is a body as alive as you and I, that there can be no life without it?" ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In her second published work, Postcolonial Love Poem, Mojave American poet Natalie Diaz lyrically tells readers what was stolen - bodies, land, love, rivers, language - by colonialism. While her work features heavily the themes of loss and othering, she does not dwell in wishing for a pre-colonial world. Her prose pushes readers to her present day brothers and sisters, how they walk with living wounds across polluted land. Diaz’s work is powerful and unlike any other I have read, juxtaposing fac ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this poetry collection as the June selection of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club. I had not known about Natalie Diaz previously. I followed my usual practice of reading a poem each night before bed.

The poet is Native American, born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village on the edge of Needles, CA. In other words, on the reservation, which sits on the banks of the Colorado River. She is a member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She teaches and holds the Chair in Modern Contemporary
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Natalie Diaz’s “Postcolonial Love Poem” is a collection functioning both as argument and plea against colonial erasure of native people. At times these poems are heartbreaking, at times inspiring, at times esoteric and confusing for one such as myself who will never know from experience the pain of cultural genocide, which is one reason these poems are so vital, the story they tell necessary, the BB people they honor deserving. Among my favorite poems: “Catching Copper, “American Arithmetic,” a ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Natalie Diaz's powerful and dynamic second book is enriched by her dense, allusive, utterly distinctive language and tone: in several of her vivid poems, she has deftly progressed the time-tested tradition of the romantic praise song by introducing startling, often innovative metaphors and similes that make us ponder anew the risks and riveting mysteries of erotic love and intimacy. Always Diaz speaks with reliable candor, authority, and tenderness about love, family, addiction, the harshness of ...more
Jun 05, 2021 is currently reading it
I love the gorgeous language of this poem: ...more
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional. I won’t be forgetting these poems for a long time.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary collection of poems that I’m going to be thinking about for weeks to come. The language is out of control. I’m shooketh!!!
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing

In what has been one of my favorite reads of the year, POSTCOLONIAL LOVE POEM by Natalie Diaz blew me away! It’s a collection I needed to take my time with, the poems longer and the language drawing on intertextual references that were sometimes beyond my grasp (for example, many drew on THE ODYSSEY which I have not yet read). Some of my favorite elements of the writing were how gloriously sensual the prose was in works like ODE TO THE BELOVED’S HIPS: “At night your legs, love, are boulevards /
Amorak Huey
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Holy crap, this book is so so so good.
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Diaz is a queer Native American poet with an immense facility with form, language, and classical and other references. I read this collection slowly and appreciatively.
What a stunning collection of poems. Natalie Díaz presents poetry that is charged with emotions ranging from intimate, sheer awe, to heartbreaking. I was impressed by the overarching themes that connected an array of topics which smoothly transitioned from one poem to the next; much like the rivers she writes about metaphorically and literally. The way she incorporates nature into her poetry—especially water—to explore love, colonialism, writing, and Indigenous/Latinx identity is wonderful. Anot ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Obit
  • Guillotine: Poems
  • Homie
  • DMZ Colony
  • Red at the Bone
  • Fantasia for the Man in Blue
  • Ghosts
  • The Tradition
  • Finna
  • A Treatise on Stars
  • The Star Side of Bird Hill
  • Master and Apprentice (Star Wars)
  • The Beauty of Your Face
  • What We Carry: A Memoir
  • The Yellow Bird Sings
  • A Pure Heart
  • Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story
  • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Natalie Díaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the banks of the Colorado River. 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. Her second poetry collection, Postcolonial Love Poems is published by Graywolf Press in 2020. She i ...more

Related Articles

Elizabeth Acevedo burst onto the literary scene in 2018 with The Poet X, a novel-in-verse that draws on her own experiences as an award-winning...
81 likes · 22 comments
“I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible.” 6 likes
“I confuse instinct for desire—isn’t bite also touch?” 6 likes
More quotes…