Pro basketball player turned poet to speak at NAU

Natalie Diaz, author of the poetry collection “When My Brother Was an Aztec” and a former professional basketball player, will be at Northern Arizona University for two events this weekend.

As part of the Arizona Commission on the Arts/NAU Master of Fine Arts Program reading series, Diaz will read from her work at 5:30 Thursday, Feb. 23. At 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, she will speak as part of the annual Peaks Graduate Conference. Both events are in Room 120 of the Liberal Arts building and are free and open to the public.

Diaz was born in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. Diaz earned a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship, then played professional basketball in Europe and Asia. She then returned to Old Dominion and earned an MFA. Honors and awards include the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Broad Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.

NAU Communications