Gila River Indian Community Member Honored with Prestigious Pulitzer Prize for work in Poetry

ASU Associate Professor Takes Home National Honors for Her Collection, “Postcolonial Love Poem”

Communications & Public Affairs Office 

Press Release


Esteemed poet Natalie Diaz, born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village and an enrolled member of the

Gila River Indian Community was announced today as the 2021 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection, “Postcolonial Love Poem.”


This honor comes only a few weeks after Diaz, an Associate Professor at Arizona State University, made history by becoming the youngest chancellor ever elected to the prestigious Academy of American Poets.


“I care so much for the book and for the people that the book brought me to, but also for the people I hope the book could carry of my life,” said Natalie Diaz in a ASU press release about the award. “And so in a lot of ways I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about a prize before.” 


“I want to offer Mr. Diaz congratulations on behalf of the Community and myself personally,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis. “The Pulitzer Prize is one of the highest honors in poetry, and it affirms what an amazing talent Natalie Diaz represents. Her creativity, unique voice and her moving storytelling light a path for Native writers in our Community and around the world.” We could not be more proud of Natalie and her work.” 


Diaz, awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2018, is also a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She has been awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, and a U.S. Artists Ford Fellowship.


“There is no limit to what indigenous peoples and our Community members can achieve, and Natalie Diaz is living proof of that,” said Gov. Lewis. “Her words, her poems and her accomplishments serve as inspiration to all of us, young and old.”


ASU President Michael Crow lauded Diaz on her achievements. “There is unbelievable power when intelligence, creativity and insight fuse together,” Crow said. “That’s what Natalie Diaz brings to language and poetry, and her voice is incredibly important. This Pulitzer Prize is very well deserved, and the ASU community celebrates this profoundly good news with her today.” 


More about Diaz’s award can be read at: