Monday, July 9, 2012

Master Poet Spotlight: July 2012

Natasha Trethewey, 46 -- a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta -- was named the 19th U.S. poet laureate this week, according to the New York Times. She is the first African American to hold the post since Rita Dove in 1993. A Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections, she tackles America's racial legacy and often tells the stories of those who don't make it into poetry boo

The Library of Congress is to announce Thursday that the next poet laureate is Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections and a professor of creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. Ms. Trethewey, 46, was born in Gulfport, Miss., and is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the original laureate, and the first African-American since Rita Dove in 1993

Unlike the recent laureates W. S. Merwin and her immediate predecessor, Philip Levine, both in their 80s when appointed, Ms. Trethewey, who will officially take up her duties in September, is still in midcareer and not well-known outside poetry circles. Her work combines free verse with more traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle to explore memory and the racial legacy of America. Her fourth collection, "Thrall," is scheduled to appear in the fall. She is also the author of a 2010 nonfiction book, "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."...

She has devoted much of her career to resurrecting or recreating the histories of people who don"t often make it into poetry books. Her first volume, "Domestic Work" (2000), is about just what the title says: black maids, washerwomen, factory workers.