U.S. poet laureate to read at Sweet Briar

| February 12, 2014

Sweet Briar College will host 2012-2014 U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey for a reading and book signing at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, in Murchison Lane Auditorium in Babcock Fine Arts Center. The reading is sponsored by the College’s Lectures and Events Committee and is free and open to the public.

Photo by Matt Valentine. Featured photo by Joel Benjamin.

There will also be a public Q&A session with Trethewey from 3 to 4 p.m. in Pannell Gallery.

Born in Gulfport, Miss., Trethewey is the 19th poet laureate of the United States and the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. She is the author of four collections of poetry, “Domestic Work” (2000), “Bellocq’s Ophelia” (2002), “Native Guard” (2006) for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize — and, most recently, “Thrall” (2012). Her book of nonfiction, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” appeared in 2010.

“Domestic Work” was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African-American poet and won both the 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry.

In her introduction to the book, Dove said, “Trethewey eschews the Polaroid instant, choosing to render the unsuspecting yearnings and tremulous hopes that accompany our most private thoughts — reclaiming for us that interior life where the true self flourishes and to which we return, in solitary reverie, for strength.”

Trethewey has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and in several volumes of “The Best American Poetry.”

In her second term as poet laureate, Trethewey’s signature project is a feature on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series “Where Poetry Lives.” In it, she travels with senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown to various cities across the United States in order to explore societal issues through the lens of poetry, literature and her own personal experiences.

Trethewey is also the 2012-2016 State Poet Laureate of Mississippi.

For more information about the event, call (434) 381-6210. While no tickets are required, seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Janika Carey

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Category: Academics, Creative Writing