Natasha Trethewey, Current Poet Laureate
The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress
On June 7, 2012, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Natasha Trethewey as the Library's Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2012-2013. Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on April 26, 1966. She is the author of four poetry collections and a book of creative non-fiction. Her honors include the Pulitzer Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012, she was appointed the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi. Learn more about Natasha Trethewey
- View Web Guide on Natasha Trethewey
- Public Readings by Natasha Trethewey
- Read News Release Annoucement
Trethewey, the 19th Poet Laureate, took up her duties in the fall, opening the Library's annual literary season with a reading of her work on Thursday, September 13, 2012 in the Coolidge Auditorium. Her term coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Library's Poetry and Literature Center and the 1937 establishment of the Consultant-in-Poetry position, which was changed by a federal law in 1986 to Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.
"Natasha Trethewey is an outstanding poet/historian in the mold of Robert Penn Warren, our first Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry," Billington said. "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."
Trethewey succeeds Philip Levine as Poet Laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position including W. S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, and Rita Dove.