During my time at the Poetry and Literature Center in the Library of Congress I had the honor of working with Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Natasha Trethewey. I remember the first day I had met her I was the first in the office. Through the window I saw her walking toward me and I began awkwardly patting down my hair and sitting up straighter. So kind and generous, we had a nice little chat as we introduced ourselves and she asked me a bit about my work. With a inspiring presence that almost commands you to drop your busy work and begin a new poem, I felt this urge to give her a gift in return. All I had was a healthy snack. I shared my grapes her. I told my mom about it later.
Tonight, Trethewey will conclude her laureateship with a final lecture at the Library of Congress. During her active tenure she held “office hours” in the Poetry and Literature Center. These were small groups of between 5 and 10 people where Trethewey provided insights on her poetry journey and were individuals could seek guidance. Also, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour Trethewey and Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society at PBS NewsHour Jeffery Brown created a special poetry series titled “Where Poetry Lives” featuring “issues that matter to Americans through the framework of poetry.”
An enduring writer, Trethewey is the author of five books:
Thrall (Houghton Mifflin, 2012)
Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Sarh Mills Hodge Fund Publications, 2010)
Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)
Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf Press, 2002)
Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000)
For more details on tonight’s lecture visit www.loc.gov/poetry.
POET LAUREATE FINAL LECTURE
Wednesday, May 14, 7:00 PM
Location: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building (ground floor)
Contact: (202) 707-5394
And to read more short blog posts written by me on the Poet Laureate visit “The Reality and Unreality of Race” and “Natasha Trethewey 2012 Poet Laureate” at So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art.