March 12, 2013 Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Hosts Reading To Celebrate Southern Writers, March 27

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Rob Casper (202) 707-5394

Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will host a reading at the Library of Congress on March 27 that celebrates distinguished literary writers and writing from the American South.

Trethewey will introduce fiction writers Madison Smartt Bell, Edward P. Jones, Jill McCorkle and Ron Rash, and poet Charles Wright. The authors are members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

The reading will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. A book sale and signing will follow the reading, which is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

The event is sponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center and the Library’s Publishing Office, in partnership with the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Bell was born and raised in Tennessee. He is the author of 14 novels, including his most recent work “The Color of Night” (2011). His eighth novel, “All Souls’ Rising,” was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award and the 1996 PEN/Faulkner Award and winner of the 1996 Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best book of the year dealing with race. “All Souls’ Rising” was the first in a trilogy of novels on the Haitian Revolution. Bell lives in Baltimore and is a professor of English at Goucher College.

Jones, who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for “The Known World,” was born and raised in Washington, D.C. He also wrote two collections of short stories, “Lost in the City” and “All Aunt Hagar’s Children.” He received the 2010 PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the art of the short story. In 2005, Jones received a MacArthur Fellowship.

McCorkle, a native of Lumberton, N.C., is the author of 11 books of fiction. Her most recent novel, “Life after Life,” will be released on March 26, 2013. Her honors include the New England Booksellers Award in 1993 and the John Dos Passos Prize for Excellence in Literature in 2000. She lives in Hillsborough, N.C., and teaches at North Carolina State University.

Rash was born in Chester, S.C. He is a writer of both fiction and poetry and is the author of five novels, five collections of short stories and five books of poetry. His most recent collection of short stories “Nothing Gold Can Stay” was released Feb. 19, 2013. His honors include a Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize for “Burning Bright” (2010), and two nominations for the PEN/Faulkner prize for his works “Chemistry” and “Serena.” He teaches at Western Carolina University.

Wright was born in Pickwick Dam, Tenn. He is the author of more than 20 collections of poetry, including his most recent “Bye-and-Bye: Selected Late Poems” (2012). He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for “Black Zodiac,” and a National Book Award in 1983 for “Country Music: Selected Early Poems.” He is a professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and lives in Charlottesville.

Founded in 1987, the Fellowship of Southern Writers is a nonprofit organization that encourages literature in the South. It achieves its mission by commemorating outstanding literary achievement, encouraging young writers through awards, prizes and fellowships, and by recognizing distinction in writing by election to membership. For more information, visit External.

The Publishing Office of the Library of Congress produces a wide variety of materials, releasing more than 20 new publications each year. For more information, visit

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers an endowed poetry chair, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 155 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 13-046
ISSN 0731-3527