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STARKVILLE, Miss.–Gulfport native, Pulitzer Prize winner and current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey will visit Mississippi State Sept. 24.

Trethewey will read from her works and offer commentary during a free program to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Colvard Union’s Bill R. Foster Ballroom. A question-and-answer session will follow.

While open to all, the university program will require an admission entry ticket. One complimentary ticket per person is available in the Union’s Center for Student Activities, Suite 314.

Trethewey currently is in her second year as the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate. At Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., she is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, and director of Emory’s creative writing program.

Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection “Native Guard,” she also is Mississippi’s Poet Laureate–the first African-American to hold that designation.

Trethewey’s campus visit is sponsored by MSU African-American Studies; centers for Student Activities and Teaching and Learning; College of Arts and Sciences and its Institute for the Humanities; English department and its Mississippi Quarterly; Richard Holmes Cultural Diversity Center; and the Office of the Provost.

After receiving an English degree at the University of Georgia, Trethewey went on to complete a master’s in English and creative writing from Hollins University in Virginia. She then earned a second master’s in poetry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In May 2010, Trethewey was honored with an honorary doctorate by Hollins, where she also delivered the commencement address. She previously received an honorary degree from Delta State University.

Librarian of Congress James Billington praised Trethewey’s poems, writing that they “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.”

Other notable Trethewey publications include “Thrall” (2012); “Bellocq’s Ophelia” (2002), named a 2003 Notable Book by the American Library Association; and “Domestic Work” (2000). She is also the author of “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast” (2010).

Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Gettysburg Review, and several The Best American Poetry volumes.

Trethewey has been honored with fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Study Center, National Endowment for the Arts, and Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

For more information about Trethewey’s visit, telephone 662-325-2930.

For more about the university, see www.msstate.edu.

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