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Native Guard

by Natasha Trethewey

Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey's elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.The title of the collection refers to the Mississippi Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history. As a child in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the 1960s, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause. The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey's life on a much more immediate level, too. Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in the 1960s. Years after her mother's tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.Included in this beautiful new edition of Native Guard is an audio CD of the poems read by the author -- a lovely gift for anyone who loves poetry that speaks to the heart and mind.

Thrall

by Natasha Trethewey

The stunning follow-up volume to her 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning Native Guard, by America's new Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey's poems are at once deeply personal and historical--exploring her own interracial and complicated roots--and utterly American, connecting them to ours. The daughter of a black mother and white father, a student of history and of the Deep South, she is inspired by everything from colonial paintings of mulattos and mestizos to the stories of people forgotten by history. Meditations on captivity, knowledge, and inheritance permeate Thrall, as she reflects on a series of small estrangements from her poet father and comes to an understanding of how, as father and daughter, they are part of the ongoing history of race in America.Thrall confirms not only that Natasha Trethewey is one of our most gifted and necessary poets but that she is also one of our most brilliant and fearless.

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