Why I Write: Natasha Trethewey on Poetry, History, and Social Justice





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Published on Feb 15, 2010

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Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey talks about why she writes poetry in this Emory University Distinguished Faculty Lecture held on February 3, 2010. Sharing stories from her childhood and experiences as a student learning her craft, she reveals the many lessons and literary influences that have shaped her poetry. "The soul sings for justice and the song is poetry," she says.

To illustrate her message, she reads the following poems: "A Postcard from Okama," by Terrance Hayes (25:23); "Dar He," by R. T. Smith (29:06); and "The Crowd He Becomes," by Jake Adam York (36:38).

Trethewey won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2007 collection 'Native Guard'. She is the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry and Professor of English at Emory.

The 15th annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, part of the Life of the Mind Series and sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Council, took place as a part of the celebration of Founders Week.

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