“Natasha Trethewey is among the nation’s foremost contemporary voices in poetry,” Rosemary Magee, director of Emory’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, said in a statement. “We are so pleased and proud that she has chosen to make Emory the permanent home for her literary archive.”
Earlier this year, Trethewey completed her second consecutive term as national poet laureate and capped a PBS series, “Where Poetry Lives,” which was part of the “PBS NewsHour.” In that series Trethewey traveled the nation with correspondent Jeffrey Brown to show how Americans of all walks used poetry in their everyday lives. She resumes teaching at Emory this fall. A University of Georgia graduate, Trethewey is also the poet laureate of her home state of Mississippi, a post she’ll hold through 2016.
The collection includes material up to 2013, including her handwritten notes on paper, which is how she begins most poems. She has never felt comfortable starting a new piece on a computer. Yet, during her tenure as national laureate, Trethewey found it difficult to create new work, even though her position was one that involved the promotion of poetry in daily life.
“But I’m getting back to my writing now,” she said Tuesday.
In future years, that work and the documents that show how she created it may join her other work in the Emory archive.