BLB In Person Event: Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive

Monday, March 6, 2023 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Join The Center for Social  Concerns, The Initiative on Race and Resilience, and Brain Lair Books in welcoming Natasha Trethewey in conversation with Mark Sanders.


An Instant New York Times Bestseller 

A New York Times Notable Book 

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by: The Washington Post, NPR, Shelf AwarenessEsquire, Electric LiteratureSlateThe Los Angeles TimesUSA Today, and InStyle

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy

At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey explores this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.




About Natasha Trethewey

Pulitzer Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She is currently serving as the Artist in Residence at the Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience. 

Trethewey is the author of the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (2020); a book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2010); and five collections of poetry: Monument: Poems New & Selected (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000), which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet. She is also the editor of The Essential Muriel Rukeyser (2021), Best New Poets 2007: 50 Poems From Emerging Writers, and Best American Poetry 2017.

She 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 Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. From 2015-2016, she served as poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities, and in 2020, she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2019.

At Northwestern University she is Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Natasha Trethewey’s many honors and awards also include the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Nonfiction, the Cora Norman Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council, and the Friend of History Award from the Organization of American Historians. 


About Mark Sanders

A graduate of Oberlin College and Brown University, Sanders researches and teaches African American and Afro-Latin American literature and culture. More specifically, he examines the ways in which Blacks across the Western Hemisphere participate in local, national, and international print cultures of the late nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries to ameliorate material, social, and political conditions. Sanders’s courses include “Early African American Prose,” “Twentieth-Century and Contemporary African American Poetry,” “African American Autobiography,” and “Afro-Cuban Literature and Culture.”

Sanders’s books include Sterling A. Brown’s A Negro Looks at the South (co-edited with John Edgar Tidwell) and A Black Soldier’s Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence. He is currently co-editing and co-translating (with Nohora Arrieta Fernández) the poetry of Pedro Blas Julio Romero and Rómulo Bustos Aguirre, two contemporary Afro-Colombian poets.

Sanders currently serves as the inaugural Director of the Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience.

Event address: 
1005 Portage Avenue
South Bend, IN 46616
Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir By Natasha Trethewey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062248589
Availability: Available to Ship from Store - Usually ships in 5 - 7 days.
Published: Ecco - June 1st, 2021

An Instant New York Times Bestseller 

A New York Times Notable Book 

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020

A Black Soldier’s Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence By Ricardo Batrell, Mark A. Sanders (Editor) Cover Image
Product may not be available. Please email the store. Price shown may not be up to date.
ISBN: 9780816650095
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - October 11th, 2010

In 1896, an illiterate, fifteen-year-old Afro-Cuban field hand joined the rebel army fighting for Cuba's independence. Though poor and uneducated, Ricardo Batrell believed in the promise of Cuba Libre, the vision of a democratic and egalitarian nation that inspired the Cuban War of Independence.