Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz is a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poetry that focuses on the pain wrought from the treatment of the Native American people. Diaz works to expose, rectify, and challenge the American narratives about the Native population and their land. It is brilliantly done through the use of rivers and waters acting as the constant theme throughout the collection. In ‘The First Water Is the Body’, Diaz writes, “Americans prefer a magical red Indian, or a shaman, or a fake Indian in a red dress, over a real Native. Even a real Native carrying the dangerous and heavy blues of a river in her body.” She touches on the Flint, Michigan water crisis, the exploitation of water by the government and corporations, and explains that water is not separate from the body. The collection is heartbreaking as it shows the rawness and pain that her and the Native Americans have gone through and will continue to go through. In the collection, I enjoyed the poems ‘Catching Copper’, ‘American Arithmetic’, and ‘exhibits from The American Water Museum’. It is a brilliant and aching collection of poetry.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
Maxwell Suzuki is a writer, poet, and photographer based in Los Angeles.