Natasha Trethewey, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta, was reappointed to another term as Poet Laureate of the United States. She is also serving a four-year term as the poet laureate of the state of Mississippi.
James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, stated, “The Library and the country are fortunate Natasha Trethewey will continue her work as Poet Laureate. Natasha’s first term was a resounding success, and we could not be more thrilled with her plans for the coming year.”
Professor Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry. Her collection, Native Guard, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. Her fourth collection, Thrall, was published late last year by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press, 2010).
A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Professor Trethewey is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She holds a master’s degree from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
article via jbhe.com
Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated her hometown, Brittney Reese hoped to give Gulfport, Miss., a medal in the Beijing Games.
She came up short, and was crushed.
“When I placed fifth, I was devastated and cried the whole way back to the (athletes) village,” she said. “I had the whole Gulf Coast behind me … I wanted to come out there and do that for them.”
She delivered four years later with a long-awaited gold medal in the long jump. She repeatedly recalled the struggles her family had been through after Katrina, which produced rains that collapsed the roof on her home and displaced the family for several months.
“We had mold and we were living out of mobile homes and trailers,” she said. “It was a tough time and unless you realize how blessed you are to have neccessities — we didn’t have hot water, and it was hot and we didn’t have air conditioning. It was a real true eye-opener and my city is now rebuilt and we have most of the stuff back.
“But we don’t have a lot of the homes back. This was a great way for me to bring something home to them to show that we can all do this together.”
via Brittney Reese wins gold for hometown Gulfport | theGrio.