Monument: Poems New and Selected

by Natasha Trethewey

Two-time U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey’s new and selected poems, drawing upon Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard, Congregation, and Thrall, while also including new work written over the last decade.

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9781328507846
  • ISBN-10: 132850784X
  • Pages: 224
  • Publication Date: 11/06/2018
  • Carton Quantity: 12

About the book

“[Trethewey’s 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.” —James H. Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress 


Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy both intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and voice to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love. 


In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,” weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future. 


*Academy of American Poets’ chancellor Marilyn Nelson 



About the author
Natasha Trethewey

NATASHA TRETHEWEY, two term U.S. Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and 2017 Heinz Award recipient, has written four collections of poetry and one book of nonfiction. An American Academy of Arts and Sciences fellow, she is currently Board of Trustees professor of English at Northwestern University. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.