United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (b. 1966) describes her mode as elegiac. Although the loss of her murdered mother informs each book, Trethewey's range of forms and subjects is wide. In compact sonnets, elegant villanelles, ballad stanzas, and free verse, she creates monuments to mixed-race children of colonial Mexico, African American soldiers from the Civil War, a beautiful prostitute in 1910 New Orleans, and domestic workers from the twentieth-century North and South.
Because her white father and her black mother could not marry legally in Mississippi, Trethewey says she was "given" her subject matter as "the daughter of miscegenation." A sense of psychological exile is evident from her first collection, Domestic Work (2000), to the recent Thrall (2012). Biracial people of the Americas are a major focus of her poetry and her prose book Beyond Katrina, a meditation on family, community, and the natural environment of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The interviews featured within Conversations with Natasha Trethewey provide intriguing artistic and biographical insights into her work. The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet cites diverse influences, from Anne Frank to Seamus Heaney. She emotionally acknowledges Rita Dove's large impact, and she boldly positions herself in the southern literary tradition of Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren. Commenting on "Pastoral," "South," and other poems, Trethewey guides readers to deeper perception and empathy.
About the Author
Joan Wylie Hall, Oxford, Mississippi, is a lecturer in the English department at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of Shirley Jackson: Studies in Short Fiction and the editor of Conversations with Audre Lorde (University Press of Mississippi). Her work has also been published in numerous journals such as Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers; Southern Register; Mississippi Quarterly; Faulkner Journal; and the Eudora Welty Review.
Table of Contents
An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Jill Petty/1996 3
A Conversation with Natasha Trethewey David Haney/2003 18
Natasha Trethewey-Decatur, Georgia W. T. Pfefferle/2004 33
Interview: Natasha Trethewey on Facts, Photographs, and Loss Sara Kaplan/2006 37
An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Pearl Amelia McHaney/2007 45
Interview with Natasha Trethewey Remica L. Bingham/2007 61
Natasha Trethewey Interview Jonathan Fink/2007 77
An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Wendy Anderson/2008 87
Conversation between Natasha Trethewey and Alan Fox in New York City, January 31st, 2008 Alan Fox/2008 92
Because of Blood: Natasha Trethewey's Historical Memory Lisa De Vries/2008 106
An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Christian Teresi/2009 113
Interview with Natasha Trethewey Ana-Maurine Lara/2009 126
A Conversation with Natasha Trethewey Marc McKee/2010 136
Outside the Frame: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Regina Bennett Harbour Winn Zoe Miles/2010 150
Southern Crossings: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Daniel Cross Turner/2010 156
Jake Adam York Interviews Natasha Trethewey Jake Adam York/2010 168
Report from Part Three: Rita Dove and Natasha Trethewey, Entering the World through Language Rudolph Byrd Rita Dove Natasha Trethewey/2011 174
An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Jocelyn Heath/2011 196