Natasha Trethewey


Natasha Trethewey is a poet and teacher who served two terms as the nineteenth Poet Laureate of the United States (2012–2014). She is the author of four collections of poetry, Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—and Thrall. Her book of non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, was published in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.

Listen: there is another story I want
this place to tell: I was a child here,
traveling to school through the heart of town
by train, emerging into the light
of the square, in the shadow of the courthouse,
a poetics of grief already being written.
This is the place to which I vowed
I’d never return, hallowed ground now,
a vault of memory…


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard