Pulitzer prize-winning poet joins faculty next academic year

Allyson Chiu, Assistant Campus Editor

A Pulitzer prize-winning poet will be part of Northwestern’s English Department beginning Fall Quarter of next year, the University announced Thursday.

Mississippi native Natasha Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for “Native Guard,” a collection of poems which covered topics ranging from black soldiers who served in the South during the Civil War to her mother’s interracial marriage, which was then illegal.

In addition to winning the Pulitzer prize, Trethewey was also appointed by the Library of Congress to be the United States’ 19th Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014. The responsibility of the Poet Laureate is to increase the nation’s appreciation of reading and writing poetry.

Trethewey currently teaches at Emory University in Atlanta, where she has been for 15 years, according to a news release.

Trethewey said she’s excited to work at NU.

“It seems to me that, at Northwestern, the opportunities for meaningful, exciting and important new work in teaching and research are boundless,” Trethewey said in the news release.

English department chair Prof. Laurie Shannon said having Trethewey join the University’s faculty will “enrich” the current undergraduate curriculum and “catalyze” development of the graduate program.

“Her fine-grained engagement with questions of race and memory will bring us not only literary distinction, but also a profound observing eye on our times, and the lingering histories that brought us here,” Shannon told The Daily in an email.

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