U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey will read from her collection "Thrall," which includes material developed while she was a Beinecke Fellow at Yale in 2009. The event — which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 4:30 p.m., at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, 121 Wall St. — is free and open to the public.
Trethewey’s talk is in conjunction with the current exhibition “By Hand,” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of Beinecke. “By Hand” starts where the Yale College Library collection of early manuscripts began, with a copy of the “Speculum humanae salvationis,” a discourse on humanity, given by Elihu Yale. The exhibition concludes with the manuscripts and drafts of "Miracle of the Black Leg," a poem written by Trethewey during her tenure as a Beinecke research fellow.
Named U.S. poet laureate in 2012, Trethewey is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections and a professor of creative writing at Emory University. Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, Trethewey is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the original laureate, and she is the first African American since Rita Dove in 1993.
The Beinecke will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a year-long series of events, including poetry readings and concerts, as well as exhibitions of rarely seen manuscripts, printed objects, and images from across all curatorial areas. In addition to ongoing musical and literary events, the celebration will feature lectures by well-known individuals such as dean of Yale School of Architecture Robert A.M. Stern, novelist and literary critic Umberto Eco, among others.