Thursday, June 7, 2012

19th U.S. Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey

Usually when you mention the name of someone you haven’t seen in years, you end up running into them in the grocery store or at the beauty salon.  So, when I mentioned Natasha Trethewey in a blog post two days ago, instead of running into her at some public space, I see her name in the New York Times…as having been named our newest poet laureate.  Well that’s dramatic.  And well deserved.  Congratulations, Natasha!

I would love to say that Natasha and I are friends, but that wouldn’t be true.  She and I are just acquaintances.  I met her in a former life, when I lived in Auburn.  Natasha was at her first teaching gig at Auburn University, but was soon to take a position at Emory.  I fell in love with her poetry through Bellocq’s Ophelia, a collection of poems about identity, some written from the perspective of a Storyville District prostitute in New Orleans.  I fell deeper in love with her poetry when I read Domestic Work and then Native Guard.  I have yet to read Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but I have ordered it because I know it will be meaningful to this recurring dialogue about memory.

To read the NY Times article on Natasha, go here.

And on a sad note, I was distressed to hear of the passing of Ray Bradbury.  As I felt with the death of Kurt Vonnegut, I am stricken with a terrible fear that libraries and freedom of speech have lost one of their greatest champions...

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