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Poet Laureate, 2012-2013 - Natasha Trethewey
June 7, 2012
Librarian of Congress Appoints Natasha Trethewey Poet Laureate
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the Library’s Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012-2013.
Trethewey, the 19th Poet Laureate, will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season with a reading of her work on Thursday, September 13 in the Coolidge Auditorium. Her term will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center and the 1937 establishment of the Consultant-in-Poetry position, which was changed by a federal law in 1986 to Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
"Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry," Billington said. "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 succeeds Philip Levine as Poet Laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position including W. S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove.
She is the author of three poetry collections, including "Native Guard," (2006), winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; "Bellocq’s Ophelia" (2002); and "Domestic Work" (2000). Her newest collection of poems, "Thrall," is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2012. Trethewey is the author of a nonfiction book, "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast" (2010).
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