Poet Natasha Trethewey to Visit Swarthmore as Phi Kappa Society Scholar

Natasha Trethewey

Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry and will be reading from her new book Monument on Thursday, Dec. 6. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

On Thursday, December 6, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Natasha Trethewey will visit Swarthmore as the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar 2018. Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry and she will be reading from her new book, Monument (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), an anthology of new and selected poems.

This event will begin at 4:15 p.m. and will be held in the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall. It is sponsored by the Department of English Literature, the Program in Black Studies, the Black Cultural Center, Swarthmore African American Student Society, Our Art Spoken in Soul, and the Intercultural Center.  

On Friday Dec. 7, Trethewey will participate in a Collection focused on poetry of witness at 12:30 in the Meeting House.  This event will also feature poems by Swarthmore community members.

Trethewey is the 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 2017, she received the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities. Trethewey is currently the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University.

Founded in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America’s most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the institution by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. Now in its 61st year, the Visiting Scholar Program has sent 648 Scholars on 5,288 two-day visits.