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Natasha Trethewey

Former United States Poet Laureate to return to Cornish roots on visit to Falmouth

The 19th Poet Laureate of the United States will return to her Cornish roots as she visits the Duchy to perform and discuss her work.

Pulitzer Prize winning Natasha Trethewey, whose father Eric was a Canadian of Cornish descent, will perform a public lecture at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus. She will also give a reading of her work at Falmouth Art Gallery.

Professor Trethewey currently directs the Creative Writing Program at Emory University, USA. Her poetry portrays the lives of working-class people, particularly black men and women in the South. Her father was also a poet and a professor of English at Hollins University, Virginia.

When she began her role as Poet Laureate in 2012 Cornwall Council officer Bert Biscoe personally delivered an inscribed copy of the Collected Poems of Charles Causley, the famous Cornish poet. The University of Exeter holds the Causley archives and is currently working with the Charles Causley Trust to explore ways of ensuring this collection is fully accessible in Cornwall.

Dr Natalie Pollard, Lecturer in Modernist and Contemporary Literature, who is organising the visit, said: “The themes in Natasha Trethewey’s poetry are at the heart of global politics today, and this is a wonderful chance to hear this work read by the poet herself.

“I am personally inspired by Natasha’s work. She has a really unique voice in contemporary literature. Her writing speaks to some of the most pressing social realities both in America and globally. It's poetry that addresses difficult personal and public issues, such as individual and shared identity, collective memory and the struggle for equality and justice.

“Her poetry produces a strong sense of the importance of putting literature back into everyday life, to help us live better, together and individually. We're thrilled that she is coming to read and lecture at The University of Exeter, Penryn.”

Natasha will be delivering a poetry reading, followed by a Q&A session and wine reception at Falmouth Art Gallery on Wednesday 8 March from 6pm – 7.30 pm and a public lecture, on Thursday 9 March from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the University of Exeter’s, Penryn Campus. Both events are free, but places are limited so book to avoid disappointment.

Date: 24 February 2017

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