U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Gets Second Term

Posted on June 11, 2013

Natasha Trethewey Photo 2Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has appointed Natasha Trethewey to serve a second term as U.S. Poet Laureate. Her second term will begin in September. She joins other multiyear laureates including Kay Ryan, Ted Kooser, and Billy Collins. Trethewey is also serving as the Poet Laureate of Mississippi, which holds a four-year term, and will continue in both positions next year.

During her first term as the 19th Poet Laureate Trethewey kept "Office Hours" where she met with the general public in the Library's Poetry Room. This is a tradition established by her predecessors in the post from 1937 to 1986. During her second term she will undertake a signature project, which will involve regular features on the PBS NewsHour Poetry Series. Trethewey will join NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown for a series of on-location reports in U.S. cities to explore societal issues through a poetic lens. She will draw on her own life experiences as a guide and will visit places she feels a personal connection. These include places such as a domestic violence center, an inner-city school, a prison or juvenile detention center, a nursing home, or places that have suffered natural or man-made disasters. The specific locations have not yet been revealed.

Trethewey's latest poetry collection, Thrall: Poems, was published in August, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It is a follow-up volume to her 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, Native Guard.

Photo: Matt Valentine/Library of Congress

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