Natalie Diaz & Diane Wakoski

Natalie Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, she completed her MFA in poetry and fiction at Old Dominion University. She has been awarded the Bread Loaf 2012 Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry, the 2012 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Literature Fellowship, a 2012 Lannan Residency and the 2012 Lannan Literary Fellowship. Her first book, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press. Diaz currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs a language revitalization program at Fort Mojave, her home reservation. There she works and teaches with the last Elder speakers of the Mojave language. She is a faculty member at the new low-residency MFA program at The Institute of American Indian Arts.

Diane Wakoski, who was born in Southern California and educated at UC, Berkeley, made her home and began her poetry career in New York City from 1960-1973.  In 1989 her selected poems, EMERALD ICE (Black Sparrow Press) won the William Carlos Williams prize from the PSA. The most recent of her more than 20 collections of poetry are THE DIAMOND DOG (ANHINGA, 2010) and a new collection, BAY OF ANGELS, (Anhinga Press, 2013). Since 1975, she has lived in East Lansing, Michigan where she was Poet In Residence and University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University, from which she retired in the spring of 2012.