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Reading by US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey
The College of Arts and Sciences invites you to a poetry reading by Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate of the United States and Christopher Merrill, award-winning poet and Director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She is the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States and the author of four collections of poetry: Domestic Work (2000); Bellocq's Ophelia (2002); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; and, most recently, Thrall (2012). Her book of non-fiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. At Emory University she is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing.
Christopher Merrill has published five collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many edited volumes and books of translations; and five works of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain. His latest prose book, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, chronicles his travels in Malaysia, China and Mongolia, and the Middle East, in the wake of the war on terror. His writings have been translated into 25 languages; his journalism appears widely; his honors include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. A member of the National Council on the Humanities and the US National Commission for UNESCO, he directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
The US Library of Congress describes the Poet Laureate position as follows:
The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress serves as the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans. During his or her term, the Poet Laureate seeks to raise the national consciousness to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.
The Poet Laureate is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress and serves from October to May. In making the appointment, the Librarian consults with former appointees, the current Laureate and distinguished poetry critics. The position has existed under two separate titles: from 1937 to 1986 as "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress" and from 1986 forward as "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry." The name was changed by an act of Congress in 1985.(http://www.loc.gov/poetry/about_laureate.html)
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