Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Natasha Trethewey is Named the 19th US Poet Laureate

Congratulations to Natasha Trethewey on being named the 19th US Poet Laureate!! I learn of the news in an article written in the New York Times titled New Laureate Looks Deep Into Memory by Charles McGrath. In Mr. McGrath's article, I learned the following information:
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. 

“I’m still a little in disbelief,” Ms. Trethewey said on Monday.

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.”
Click on the above link to read the full New York Times article, 'New Laureate Looks Deep Into Memory' by Charles McGrath.

I'd never heard of Natasha Trethewey until she had been named the next US Poet Laureate. Eager to hear one of Natasha Trethewey's poems read aloud, I curiously searched YouTube and found several videos with Natasha Trethewey in them. The above video features Natasha Trethewey reading her poem "Liturgy" from her 2010 book Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I loved the poem and thought it was very moving! 

I love listening to poetry being read aloud, especially from the poet who actually wrote the poem. I hope you enjoy listening to the poem as well.

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