Alumna Natasha Trethewey has been appointed the U.S. poet laureate for 2012-2013. Trethewey earned an undergraduate degree in English from UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in 1989.
“Natasha Trethewey’s poetry and nonfiction is marked by history and personal experience, and her work offers entry to yet another dimension of the American experience,” said Hugh Ruppersburg, interim dean of Franklin College. “She has already brought distinction to the university and the state through her writings, the Pulitzer Prize and inclusion in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. She is a most deserving selection as U.S. poet laureate. On behalf of the Franklin College, I congratulate her for this singular honor.”
Along with her alumna status, Trethewey has several other UGA connections. The UGA Press published her 2010 memoir Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
She also is a contributor to The Georgia Review, which has been involved with several public programs honoring her throughout the years, including a public celebration and reading when she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for Native Guard. Trethewey was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, created by the UGA Libraries, in 2011, and is a two-time winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award (2001, 2007), also administered by the UGA Libraries.
Recently named poet laureate of her native Mississippi, Trethewey is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. This fall, Houghton Mifflin will release Thrall, her fourth book of poetry.