Event to feature current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey
DETROIT, March 19, 2014— To commemorate its twenty-sixth year of bringing nationally-known authors to its campus for a public lecture and seminar, Marygrove's English and Modern Languages Department is pleased to announce that our current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, will be the featured guest at its Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS) event to be held on Friday, April 4, 2014 on the Marygrove College campus. Ms. Trethewey will also host a class session for Detroit area high school students and teachers beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Marygrove College Theatre.
Trethewey is the second sitting U.S. Poet Laureate to visit Marygrove as part of CAALS. The first was Rita Dove in 1996. It was Dove who selected Trethewey’s Domestic Work as the inaugural winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet. Domestic Work also received the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. Dove has written, “Trethewey eschews the Polaroid instant, choosing to render the unsuspecting yearnings and tremulous hopes that accompany our most private thoughts – reclaiming for us that interior life where the true self flourishes and to which we return, in solitary reverie, for strength.” As Poet Laureate, Trethewey has been featured on PBS NewsHour poetry series known as Where Poetry Lives. Trethewey travels with Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown to different American cities in order to explore societal issues through literature. As part of this series, she visited participants in Detroit’s InsideOut Poetry in the Schools project for a program which aired on October 23, 2013.
CAALS will also celebrate this year’s event by featuring a class session conducted by Natasha Trethewey for Detroit area high school students. Over 300 students and teachers from Fordson, Cass Technical, Cody, Ferndale, Martin Luther King, Loyola, University of Detroit Jesuit and Detroit International Academy for Young Women will attend the class which begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Marygrove Theatre. Winners of the Mary Helen Washington Writing Contest will be recognized as well. Afterwards, students will enjoy lunch and a tour of the Marygrove College campus.
Natasha Trethewey will deliver the Lillian and Don Bauder Lecture at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4, 2014, in Alumnae Hall on the Marygrove College campus.
Ms. Trethewey will be introduced by CAALS consultant Mary Helen Washington, Professor of English at the University of Maryland. Books by both Trethewey and Washington will be available for purchase, and after the reading both authors will sign copies of their work.
The evening lecture is free and open to the community.
Sponsors for the 2014 CAALS include: The National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA)/City of Detroit Recreation Department and the Skillman Foundation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Trethewey has published four poetry collections: Domestic Work (2000); Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); Native Guard (2006); and Thrall (2012). Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, appeared in 2010. She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Native Guard and has also received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. Trethewey is currently Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University as well as State Poet Laureate of Mississippi.
ABOUT THE SERIES
This series, now in its twenty-sixth year at Marygrove, is an annual event bringing a nationally-known author to its campus for a public lecture and seminar with students.
It began when the late Frederick P. Currier, a former Marygrove College trustee, attended a reception on campus and remarked that he would like to bring a national writer to Marygrove for a weekend. Mr. Currier’s start-up check soon followed his suggestion, and on April 21, 1989 nearly 600 guests of the College heard Gloria Naylor inaugurate the series.
The series has flourished thanks in large part to the generosity of Lillian and Don Bauder whose endowment supports the evening lecture as well as the Mary Helen Washington Writing Contest in which local high school students respond in writing to the visiting authors' works.
To date, nearly 10,000 people have joined Marygrove at the Friday night public readings to hear outstanding writers share their work.
ABOUT MARYGROVE COLLEGE
Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1905, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning. The College’s commitment to the city of Detroit comprises an institutional mission and vision for developing urban leaders. The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.
8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221
Web site: www.marygrove.edu