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Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide

About Natasha Trethewey at the Library of Congress

Natasha Trethewey served as the Library of Congress's 19th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 2012-2014. The links below provide more information about her activities at the Library, including webcasts, blog posts, and related news releases.

On June 7, 2012, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the 19th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. In a statement announcing the appointment, Dr. Billington said:

Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Her poems dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.

Ms. Trethewey's first term as Poet Laureate was noteworthy for her "Office Hours" during which she met with the general public in the Library's Poetry Room—harkening back to a tradition established by her predecessors in the post from 1937 to 1986.

For her second term project, Where Poetry Lives External she joined PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown for a series of on-location reports in various cities across the United States. Each episode explored a large societal issue through a focused lens offered by poetry and Ms. Trethewey's own coming-to-the-art. Her second term concluded with a reading in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium on May 14, 2014.

Natasha Trethewey has been featured on both the Poetry and Literature Center's blog, From the Catbird Seat, and on the Library's main blog. Those blog posts are linked below:

The Library of Congress features several video recordings of Natasha Trethewey reading and discussing her poetry and the poetry of other poets. These are listed below.