Tickets are on sale now for the seventh Eudora Welty Lecture to be delivered by Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the 19th United States’ Poet Laureate (2012-2014) as well as Mississippi’s Poet Laureate (2012-2016). The lecture is set for March 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D. C. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased on the Folger Shakespeare Library website at https://events.folger.edu.
Trethewey, a native of Gulfport, Mississippi, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir; a book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and five collections of poetry. She is also the editor of The Essential Muriel Rukeyser, Best New Poets 2007; 50 Poems from Emerging Writers; and Best American Poetry 2017.
Her poetry has been widely praised. Monument: Poems New & Selected was longlisted for a National Book Award; Native Guard received the Pulitzer Prize; and Domestic Work was selected the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an American poet. The recipient of numerous other prizes and fellowships, she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress.
Trethewey wrote the introduction to the latest editions of Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings and Photographs. She says that the themes of “convergence” and “confluence” found in Welty led her to write Memorial Drive about her mother’s murder and that One Writer’s Beginnings guided her in writing the first and last poems in Monument.
She has been a generous participant in Welty Foundation activities, introducing Salman Rushdie at the first Welty Lecture in 2016; delivering the Bettye Jolly Lecture at the Welty House & Garden in 2019; and serving as a guest on the Welty-at-Home Book Club in 2021 when the members read Monument and Memorial Drive. She also presented at the Visiting Writers Series at Millsaps College.
Trethewey and her husband, historian Brett Gadsden, live in Evanston, Illinois, where they are both on the faculty of Northwestern University. Trethewey is the Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
The Welty Lecture began in 2016 and has featured authors Salman Rushdie, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Richard Ford, Jesmyn Ward, Ann Patchett, and Elizabeth Strout. The Folger Shakespeare Library partners with the Welty Foundation to produce the Welty Lecture, which was endowed by the generous contributions of Martha Dowd Dalrymple in memory of her mother, Adine Wallace Dalrymple, and her grandmother, Adine Lampton Wallace, and by the family of Eudora Welty.