U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to read her poetry at Jackson State


(JACKSON, Miss.) – Pulitzer Prize-winner and current Mississippi and U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey, will read her poetry at Jackson State University at 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, in room 166/266 of the Dollye M.E. Robinson College of Liberal Arts Building. Hosted by the Margaret Walker Center at JSU, this event is free and open to the public.

In January 2012, Trethewey was named the Mississippi Poet Laureate for a four-year term. Soon after, she was named the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress. Trethewey is the first person to serve simultaneously as a state and U.S. laureate.

The event at Jackson State is being brought to Mississippi by the Library of Congress along with the Margaret Walker Center, the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Mississippi Library Commission, the Mississippi Center for the Book, and the National Center for the Book.

“The Mississippi Arts Commission is proud to play a part in bringing Natasha home to share a small snippet from her amazing body of work on the campus of Jackson State University,” stated Malcolm White, Arts Commission Director. “Natasha is an inspiration to us all and I encourage everyone to take time to learn why the honor of U.S. Poet Laureate, as well as Mississippi Poet Laureate, was bestowed upon her.”

Natasha is the author of four poetry collections, including Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000). Trethewey is also the author of a nonfiction book, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010).

Born in Gulfport, Miss., in 1966, Trethewey earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia, a M.A. in poetry from Hollins University, and a M.F. A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. From 2005-06, she was appointed the Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and

the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and, from 2009-10, she was the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. At Emory University, Trethewey is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing.

Trethewey’s other honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She has also received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, a Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts for Literature in 2008, and the Lillian Smith Award for Poetry.

For additional information, contact the Margaret Walker Center at 601-979-3935 or mwa@jsums.edu.

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One thought on “U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to read her poetry at Jackson State

  1. Pingback: JSU Today: Sept. 20, 2012 | JSU Today

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