Natalie Diaz was born and raised in the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She was part of the Old Dominion Lady Monarch basketball team that made it to the NCAA Championship game in 1997. After playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia for several years, Diaz returned to Old Dominion and completed a double-MFA in poetry and fiction. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in May of 2012. She is a 2012 Bread Loaf Scholar, a recipient of a Lannan Residency in Marfa, TX, and was awarded a 2012 Lannan Literary Fellowship, as well as a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellowship. Diaz currently lives in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and directs the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, working with the last remaining speakers at Fort Mojave to teach and revitalize the Mojave language.