February 29 - March 3 • New Orleans Marriott • New Orleans, LA



Bellocq's Ophelia

Domestic Work

Native Guard

Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication)

Featured Speakers

Naomi Shihab Nye

Anthony Doerr

Natasha Trethewey

Guest Speaker

Tom Kimmel

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey

Friday, March 2, 7:30 - 8:50 p.m. (Acadia/Bissonet)
Reading, followed by a book signing

Saturday, March 3, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (Acadia)


Natasha Trethewey's Website

Natasha Trethewey is the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry and Professor of English at Emory University. Trethewey's works have appeared in such journals as Callaloo and American Poetry Review. Her first collection, Domestic Work, won numerous awards, including the first Cave Canem poetry prize in 1999. She received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her work Native Guard, and Thrall, her fourth collection of poetry, comes out in 2012. She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a collection of creative non-fiction. Her awards and honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts; she was named the 2008 Georgia Woman of the Year. Trethewey's second collection, Bellocq's Ophelia, is the Common Reader for the 2012 Convention.

Excerpt from "Letter Home" (Bellocq's Ophelia, 2002)

I thought not to do the work I once did, back bending
and domestic; my schooling a gift—even those half days
at picking time, listening to Miss J—. How
I'd come to know words, the recitations I practiced
to sound like her, lilting, my sentences curling up
or trailing off at the ends. I read my books until
I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field,
I repeated whole sections I'd learned by heart,
spelling each word in my head to make a picture
I could see, as well as a weight I could feel
in my mouth. So now, even as I write this
and think of you at home, Good-bye

is the waving map of your palm, is
a stone on my tongue.