She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and recipient of 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 2013 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities.
The books as a whole are greater than the sum of their individual poems, as a triptych by linking three paintings together is grander than any one of its panels.
, Trethewey speaks from the voice a mulatto woman who works in the legalized prostitution district of New Orleans in the first decades of the twentieth century as recorded by white French Creole photographer E. Bellocq even as she tells her own story of being biracial.
Her parents—a black mother and a white father—had been married illegally a year before the U. Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws in .
The history behind the reception of racially or ethnically mixed couples is integrated in much of her autobiographical work with analysis of her own and her parents’ lives.We can choose her personal story or the public history, but both are present if we are willing to see. Trethewey positions the reader in Ophelia’s world by historically contextualizing black women with an opening epigraph by Toni Morrison: “She had nothing to fall back on; not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything.And out of the profound desolation of her reality she may well have invented herself” ( , Morrison 1971: 24).In , Trethewey writes to her poet father whom she charges as a colonialist comparable to the Spaniards’ enslaving of and mating with the Indian and Black Americans.Trethewey herself is so personable — as are her personal revelations regarding herself and her family — that readers are now often forgetful of the history that she is also unearthing or un-erasing, the forgotten or ignored histories that she is seeking to bring to our attention.Poète de l’ekphrasis, Natasha Trethewey (prix Pulitzer et Poète Lauréat 2012) est l’une des grandes voix de la poésie américaine contemporaine. She writes formal poems, arranging her artfully chosen words into “elegant envelopes,” as she calls her sonnets, villanelles, ghazals, and pantoums. Another poem in that collection performs a reenactment of a famous portrait of the southern Fugitive poets. Trethewey paints her own clear pictures for her readers and then transitions smoothly into the abstract conundrums of America’s history — race, gender, and colonialism.Dans une langue choisie et arrangée avec soin dans « d’élégantes enveloppes » formelles, elle présente les tenancières des maisons closes de la Nouvelle-Orléans photographiées par Bellocq, revisite le célèbre portrait des Fugitifs (mouvement poétique fondé dans le sud des États-Unis dans les années 1920) ou encore dissèque la taxonomie des portraits de castes à Mexico, au (2012) composent un triptyque où le fil autobiographique croise la trame de l’Histoire des États-Unis. She says, “I want the largest possible audience of people to be welcomed into my poems and to use the most important muscle human beings have, which is the muscle of empathy” (“Southern” 160).This is a kind of pattern of argument, even within her poetic forms.She presents both sides in order to arrive, as Aristotle says, at a state of truth.Trethewey est née d’un père blanc, Canadien d’origine, et d’une mère afro-américaine originaire du Mississippi, assassinée par son second mari. Through self-reflection, Trethewey discovers the meaning of her personal experiences and then she marries memory and history, the personal and the public.(2012) as a triptych and thus suggesting a concrete visual reference in which the sacred and the secular, the Virgin Mary at the annunciation in the center panel and the patron among the saints in the wing panels, may help us to see Trethewey, at the center of her poetry, simultaneously painting her story onto a canvas of the American history that has been erased, ignored, or forgotten.