Natasha Trethewey

Trethewey Natasha Photo 2

Pulitzer Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She is currently serving as the Artist in Residence at the Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience. 

Trethewey is the author of the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (2020); a book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010); and five collections of poetry: Monument: Poems New & Selected (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000), which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet. She is also the editor of The Essential Muriel Rukeyser (2021), Best New Poets 2007: 50 Poems From Emerging Writers, and Best American Poetry 2017.

She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, 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. From 2015-2016, she served as poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities, and in 2020, she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2019.

At Northwestern University she is Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Natasha Trethewey’s many honors and awards also include the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction, the Cora Norman Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council, and the Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians.