Two-term poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Natasha Trethewey will visit the College of Charleston as part of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing program’s Dorothea Benton Frank (DBF) Writing Series.

The reading will take place on Thursday, March 31, 2022, at 7 p.m. in Randolph Hall’s Alumni Memorial Hall. Trethewey will read poetry and from Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, a New York Times bestseller. The event is free and open to the public. Masks are required.

RELATED: Read more about the Dorothea Benton Frank Writing Series.

For Emily Rosko, associate professor of English and director of the College’s M.F.A. Creative Writing program, having Trethewey as a visiting writer is a significant event for the College.

natasha tretheway

Natasha Tretheway (Photo by Joel Benjamin)

“This is a deeply meaningful moment for the College to have a writer like Natasha Trethewey, whose caliber and success is multifaceted,” says Rosko. “Trethewey represents the American national author at its best. Her story – as recounted in her memoir Memorial Drive – about growing up biracial in rural Mississippi in the 1960s, and the murder of her mother – is a testimony to the ongoing impacts of  institutionalized racism and of violence against Black people and women.

“Her poetry documents and brings to life forgotten stories, as in Native Guard, which honors the Louisiana Native Guards – the first Black regiments called to service during the Civil War,” Rosko continues. “Her writing brilliantly unifies life and history, raising the pressing critical conversations about race, equity and inclusion that our students are eager to engage.” 

As part of the DBF Writing Series, Trethewey’s reading is funded by a generous gift from the Frank family and Steve Pond. The series offers the College the opportunity to bring national writers and publishing industry professionals to the College of Charleston campus to speak to students and deliver public readings for the Charleston community.