“Poetry and History: An Evening with Natasha Trethewey” is a continuation of the Dialogue Symposium and African American Intellectual Culture Series offered by the Higgins School of Humanities at Clark.
Trethewey will read from her works, which combine personal experience and the intimacy of memoir with national history and the grand sweep of social and cultural change. Trethewey’s poems repeatedly delineate and blur the boundary between private and public stories. Whether writing about the Casta Paintings of Colonial Mexico, black regiments serving during the Civil War, or her own family, she reveals the ways in which we are shaped by the stories we tell and that others tell about us.
In May 2014, Trethewey concluded two terms as the nineteenth Poet Laureate of the United States. She is currently the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi. She has written four collections of poetry: “Domestic Work” (Graywolf Press, 2000); “Bellocq’s Ophelia” (Graywolf Press, 2002); “Native Guard” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006) — for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize — and, most recently, “Thrall” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012). She also has written a book of nonfiction, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast” (University of Georgia Press, 2010), and a memoir to be released in 2015.
Trethewey is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.
During her second term as U.S. Poet Laureate, Trethewey contributed to “Where Poetry Lives,” a feature on the PBS NewsHour. In the series, she traveled with Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown to cities across the country and explored societal issues through poetry, literature, and her own personal experiences.
This event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored with the office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Provost. For more information, contact the Higgins School of Humanities, 508-793-7479.
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