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Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz review – fearless, sinuous and breathtaking

Natalie Diaz’s second collection plunges the reader into Native American culture and bold takes on sexual love

Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She grew up on the banks of the Colorado river and water is her element. Her second collection, nominated for the Forward prize, is authoritative, original and sinuous. It is a fascinating plunge into Diaz’s culture, especially in The First Water Is the Body, a long, defiant, breathtaking poem in which she shares the way she sees river and person as one: “The river runs through the middle of my body.” Water and its fate are also fused with the treatment of Native American people as “exhibits from The American Water Museum” states plainly:

Let me tell you a story about water:
Once upon a time there was us.
America’s thirst tried to drink us away.
And here we still are.

Continue reading...


Andrew McMillan: pandemonium review – steeped in suffering

The poet reflects on death, depression and guilt with a clear eye in this troubling and fascinating ...

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The Devil You Know by Dr Gwen Adshead and Eileen Horne review – hope for the worst of humanity

A forensic psychiatrist who’s worked at Broadmoor shows why it pays to treat criminals with compass...

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Hollie McNish: ‘I have to psych myself up to share’

The prize-winning poet on her bond with her giggly late gran, embracing blush-making subject matter ...

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A Blood Condition by Kayo Chingonyi review – deep, subtle grace

The Zambian-born British poet explores colonial history, the origin of HIV and survivor’s guilt wit...

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Ali Smith: ‘Hope is a tightrope across a ravine’

The celebrated author talks about writing to the calendar, our new Dickensian age, and how she once ...

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War of the Beasts and the Animals, and In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova – review

The Russian poet’s eloquent writing is caught between a pursuit of the past and the meaninglessness...

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