Natasha Trethewey, a professor at nearby Emory University and resident of my little town of Decatur, Georgia was named yesterday as the Poet Laureate of the United States. Congratulations to her! Makes us all proud.
Now Rex This is jolly interesting, as we were debating not too long ago how the Poet Laureate gets chosen in the UK (sadly none of the fairly well educated people concerned could recall unprompted what the British one was called, and could only recollect that she was female and wrote some fairly forgettable doggerel). How is this decided Stateside, and has any ordinary person ever heard of Natasha Trethewey (good name for a poet, by the way)? Regards Cathy
I wouldn't mind that job, Rex. Reading and writing is a pleasure that comes naturally, so, creating images with words is doubly pleasurable. I wonder how much the job pays? How much material is she expected to produce a week?
Carol Ann Duffy is the Brit one - and the first woman laureate in England. I don't know Natasha Trethewey's work so must have a gander at it.
I had never heard of Ms. Trethewey but that probably says more about me than her as I am not much of a poetry reader. She had previously won a Pulitzer Prize for her poetry so must be pretty good. I have read a couple of her poems on line and am impressed with the down to earth tone of her work. The appointment is made by the Librarian of Congress who, as I understands it, consults with other laureates and staff. It is a one year appointment but can be extended. I don't think it entails a lot of duties to allow the Laureate to pursue their chosen projects at the Library of Congress. There is some stipend attached but I have no idea how much it is. Jen, please let us know your thoughts after you read some of her poetry.
Am I alone in thinking that the concept of a Poet Laureate is absurd? I think I mentioned this in the earlier post that Cathy referred to. Poetry, like art or music, is such a subjective thing that the idea of one person representing an entire nation in that field is surely nonsensical. Again it seems there is no popular input into the matter. Some clique of academics rewards one of their own in some sort of popularity contest. Ho hum. I am interested to note that she is the poet laureate of Mississippi. I really do hope she does not have to give up tht prestigious post to assume her new and obviously hugely onerous position.
Congrats to little town of Decatur, GA, USA ::)