Today, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the 19th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. In a statement announcing the appointment, Dr. Billington said:
Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Her poems dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.
Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A in poetry from the University of Massachusetts.
She is the author of three collections of poetry: Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000) won the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem poetry prize (selected by Rita Dove). This was followed by Bellocq's Ophelia a (Graywolf, 2002), and Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize.
Her fourth collection of poetry, Thrall, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September 2012. She is also the author of a book of creative non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Georgia, 2010).
During the 2005-2006 academic year she was Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and in 2009 she was the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. She is currently the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.
A guide that compiles online resources related to Natasha Trethewey's life and work has been made available online: Library of Congress Resource Guide on New U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey
- Academy of American Poets Biography of Natasha Trethewey and several poems.
- Blue Flower Arts Biography
- Emory University Faculty Page Biography and links to several radio interviews and videos of Trethewey reading her poetry.
- The New Georgia Encyclopedia
- Online NewsHour: Poetry Series full-text of three poems, and several videos featuring Trethewey reading her poetry and discussing her work.
- Poetry Foundation Biography and several poems, audio recordings, and a review of Native Guard.