The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary Launches Denver-Wide Book Club as Part Of The National Endowment For The Arts (NEA) Big Read Program
Denver to Read, Discuss, and Creatively Respond to Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

The Word, A Storytelling Sanctuary, in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues, Denver Public Library, and History Colorado, launches the NEA Big Read program, a citywide celebration of Natalie Diaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem to take place October 2023-April 2024. As part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read initiative, the Denver Big Read invites participants to explore complex issues around land, love, inheritance, displacement, colonization, culture, family, erasure, and resistance through the lens of Diaz’s poetry collection. 

Executive Director and founder of The Word Viniyanka Prasad said: “The choice of Postcolonial Love Poem addresses a timely need for the Denver-metro community. Denver is among the fastest growing metro-areas in the country, and this growth has affected its varied populations unevenly, creating fissures around topics of legacy, ownership, and trust.” 

In partnership with community organizations, The Word hosts book clubs, talks, workshops, readings, panel discussions, and performances throughout the fall and spring seasons, concluding with a visit from the author Natalie Diaz in April 2024. The Denver Big Read kicks off on Sunday, October 6 at 5:30 PM at the Denver Botanic Gardens Freyer-Newman Center, where free copies of Postcolonial Love Poem will be distributed and additional programming throughout the fall and spring season will be announced. 

“We're proud to partner to bring NEA Big Read to Denver,” said Michelle Jeske, city librarian. “The NEA Big Read initiative will connect our communities and spark conversations with the written word which is in direct alignment with Denver Public Library's mission and values.” 

The Word is among the 62 organizations nationwide selected to receive a 2023-2024 NEA Big Read grant, which is an initiative of the NEA in partnership with Arts Midwest. The NEA Big Read aims to broaden people’s understanding of the world, their communities, and themselves through the power of a shared reading experience. The Denver Big Read offers an opportunity to uplift voices from communities impacted by growth and change of the city, unearth and embrace shared histories, foster dialog, and center moments of healing for the entire metro population. 

“We want the people throughout our community to read and discuss the book, create their own responses, and to connect with each other around the themes in the book,” said Suzi Q. Smith, director of The Word’s [margins.] conference. “Our goal is to invite community partners to join us in creatively engaging with Postcolonial Love Poem and to let the reverberations of this project have a lasting impact on Denver.” 

Additional sponsors and partners include, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Graywolf Press, and

For more information on how to get involved with the program in Denver, visit For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit