U.S. Poet Laureate, 2012-2014
Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, on April 26, 1966. She served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), and is the author of five collections of poetry: Domestic Work (2000); Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Thrall (2012); and, most recently, Monument: Poems New and Selected (2018). She is also author of Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (2020) and Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010).
She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities and, in 2019, she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. In 2020, Trethewey received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (for lifetime achievement) from the Library of Congress. Currently, she is Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.