Natalie Diaz and Clifford Thompson
Writers Reading—January 2017
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Natalie Diaz’ work has appeared in Narrative, Poetry magazine, Drunken Boat, Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, and Crab Orchard Review. Her debut book of poetry, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was a 2012 Lannan Literary Selection, a 2013 PEN/Open Book Award shortlist, and “portrays experiences rooted in Native American life with personal and mythic power.” One important focus of the book is a brother’s addiction to crystal meth. Diaz grew up in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, on the border of California, Arizona, and Nevada. She attended Old Dominion University where she played point guard on the women’s basketball team, reaching the NCAA Final Four as a freshman and the bracket of sixteen her other three years. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia, she returned to Old Dominion University, and completed an MFA in poetry and fiction.
Clifford Thompson received a Whiting Writers' Award for nonfiction for his 2013 Love for Sale and Other Essays. His writings have appeared in The Village Voice, The Threepenny Review, The Iowa Review, and a host of other noted publications. Thompson received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction in 2013 for Love for Sale and Other Essays, published by Autumn House Press, which has also published his memoir, Twin of Blackness (2015). His essays on books, film, jazz, and American identity have appeared in publications including The Village Voice, The Threepenny Review, The Iowa Review, Commonweal, Film Quarterly, Cineaste, Oxford American, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and Black Issues Book Review. He is the author of a novel, Signifying Nothing. For over a dozen years he served as the editor of Current Biography, and he has held adjunct/visiting professorships at Columbia University, New York University, Queens College, and Sarah Lawrence College. He lives in Brooklyn.