New U.S. Poet Laureate

June 14, 2012

Natasha Trethewey has just been named  the 19th poet laureate by the Library of Congress. Creative writing professor at Atlanta’s Emory University, she’s the first Southerner appointed to the post since Robert Penn Warren in 1986 (the first poet laureate), and the first African American since Rita Dove in 1993. In 2007 she won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard, and her newest book of poetry Thrall will be published this fall.  Much of her work deals with memory, “in particular the way private recollection and public history sometimes intersect but more often diverge. “The ghost of history lies down beside me,” she writes in one of her poems, “rolls over, pins me beneath a heavy arm.”  See the library catalog for more of her writings, and check out this NYT article and the NPR link to hear Ms. Trethewey read two of her poems.



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