Through elegiac verse that honors her mother and tells of her own fraught childhood, Natasha Trethewey confronts the racial legacy of her native Deep South -- where one of the first black regiments, the Louisiana Native Guards, was called into service during the Civil War. Trethewey's resonant and beguiling collection is a haunting conversation between personal experience and national history.
About the Author
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012–2014). She is the author of four collections of poetry, Domestic Work (2000), Bellocq's Ophelia (2002), Native Guard (2006)—for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize—and, most recently, Thrall (2012). Her book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is the Board of Trustees Professor of English and Creative Writing at Northwestern University. She lives in Illinois.
"Trethewey serves our profound need for that rare thing -- artistically fine Civil War poetry...She is our Native Guard." -- David Madden, author of Sharpshooter
"The graceful form conceals a gritty subject...Trethewey has a gift for squeezing the contradictions of the South into very tightly controlled lines." -- Book World The Washington Post
"[Native Guard] consistently presents Trethewey's belief that history is layered, full of bones and ghosts, and that the poet's job is to penetrate and expose." St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Trethewey is sure-handed in her use of language and fearless in confronting her own personal issues." The Advocate
"A moving testimony." Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Elegiac...eloquently told...profoundly moving...Trethewey is clearly a poet to savor." --Maxine Kumin
"In a very few years Natasha Trethewey has created a small body of nearly flawless poetry." --Rodney Jones
"[Natasha Tretheway’s] voice is a rare, beautiful gift to the reader." --William Ferris, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History, UNC Chapel Hill