Thursday, June 07, 2012

Press author appointed as new U.S. Poet Laureate

The University of Georgia Press celebrates the appointment today of Natasha Trethewey as U.S. Poet Laureate for 2012-13.

UGA Press published her 2010 memoir, BEYOND KATRINA: A MEDITATION ON THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST. The book, which was recently published in in paperback, is also available as an ebook. Trethewey's poetry combines free verse with more traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle to explore the racial legacy of the American South. Trethewey's works of poetry include Domestic Work (2000), Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002),  and Native Guard, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Her fourth collection, Thrall, will appear in fall 2012.

Trethewey counts Robert Penn Warren among the inspirations for her work both in poetry and prose. In fact, Warren's SEGREGATION: THE INNER CONFLICT OF THE SOUTH, which the Press reissued in 1994, served as a model for BEYOND KATRINA. Coincidentally, Warren was the last U.S. poet laureate to hail from the South.

Trethewey will be the first-ever poet laureate to take up residence in Washington, D.C., and work directly in the Library of Congress's Poetry and Literature Center. Her term begins in September and coincides with the seventy-fifth anniversary of both the poet laureate position and the LOC's Poetry and Literature Center.