Monument: Poems New and Selected

Monument: Poems New and Selected

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry

“[Trethewey’s poems] dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.” —James H. Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress
 
Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
 
In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,”* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.
 
*Academy of American Poets’ chancellor Marilyn Nelson

Title:Monument: Poems New and Selected
ISBN:9781328507846
Format Type:

About Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in June 2012; she began her official duties in September. She won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her 2006 collection Native Guard, and she is the Poet Laureate of Mississippi.


    Monument: Poems New and Selected Reviews

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This was a collection of some of her earlier works into a really stunning book of poems. Many are in memory of her mother, who was murdered by her stepfather. The other poems deal largely with race an...

  • Kent Winward

    This collection is one of the better poetry collections I have read in some time. The author's mixed race heritage is fruitful ground for exploring what it means to be human and parts of others. The p...

  • Jeffrey Parker

    Over the years I’ve read each of Natasha Tretheway’s collections in isolation, enjoying to greater or lesser degree each one. In Monument, however, experiencing these poems together and allowing t...

  • Erica Wright

    Trethewey is a master of narrative, combining the personal and historic with uncanny wisdom and feeling. With this selected, it's possible to see the arc of her thematic development, experience her un...

  • Jim Robles

    Five stars! Wow! I do not read poetry. I do not like poetry. I do not understand poetry. This is a wonderful read."Though we slow down, time's wheel still rolls" (p. 63). Yes! I will be 70 in March. I...

  • James

    A U.S. Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, this book gathers some of Trethewey's best work. A person of mixed race, she examines her own past and the historical past of this country, its racial deal...

  • Katrina

    This is a powerful collection in entrenched in history, loss, and isolation. Raw and hard hitting in places and poignant in others, from what I've seen of Trethewey's poems, I can't help but feel this...

  • Shelby Lynne

    BEST book of poetry I've read all year. I was nervous going into it because I don't usually like retrospectives -- too many gaps, you lose the beauty of the original collections. But Trethewey took th...

  • Kari

    This is a beautiful and carefully crafted collection that is so recognizably American in its voice, its themes of race, the South, family, and history. "Searing" was the word that kept coming to mind....

  • Esther

    I've loved everything I've read from Trethewey, so it's really not a surprise that I loved this collection....