You are here: Home / News / Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Natasha Trethewey to Lecture on "Monument"

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Natasha Trethewey to Lecture on "Monument"

Former Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize Winner to Read from collection “Monument”

Baton Rouge, La.- Natasha Trethewey will read selections from her most recent collection, Monument,at a lecture on Thursday, January 24 at 4:30 p.m., in the Hans and Donna Sternberg Salon of the French House. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Before becoming the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University, Professor Trethewey spent 15 years at Emory University, most recently as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing. Professor Trethewey served two terms as the 19thPoet Laureate of the United States (2012 - 2014) and has authored four collections of poetry, Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard, for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, and Thrall.In addition, Professor Trethewey published a non-fiction book in 2010 titled Beyond Katina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

She has received fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In 2017, she received the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities.

“The LSU Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is thrilled to welcome Professor Trethewey,” said Dr. Drew Arms, Ogden Honors director of fellowship advising and president of the LSU Phi Beta Kappa Chapter. “The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Program offers a rare and wonderful opportunity for our students and faculty to interact with one of the nation’s premier poets.” 

While at LSU, in addition to her public lecture, Trethewey will meet with English faculty and graduate students, Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) scholars, and the Ogden Honors College book club discussing Monument. She will also lead discussion of her work in two undergraduate English classes. Co-sponsoring the event are the Ogden Honors College and the Department of English.

“Professor Trethewey’s poems and her connection to the Gulf Coast will be discussed in English literature classes, as well as among the Ogden Honors College Louisiana Service and Leadership Scholars who study coastal land loss and its impact on coastal communities – a great reminder of the power of poetry to bring together diverse disciplines,” said Dr. Arms.

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars Programsends distinguished scholars in a variety of academic fields to campuses around the country with the purpose of “contribut[ing] to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students.” Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. Founded in 1776, its mission is “to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.” LSU’s chapter, installed in 1977, inducts between thirty and seventy upperclassmen each year who are distinguished by the breadth and the excellence of their academic records.

The LSURoger Hadfield Ogden Honors Collegeis a vibrant, diverse and prestigious community located at the heart of LSU. The Ogden Honors College provides students with a curriculum of rigorous seminar classes, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research, culminating in the Honors Thesis. Its focus on community service, study abroad, internships and independent research helps today’s high-achieving students become tomorrow’s leaders.