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

  • Kasa Cotugno

    Magnificent collection by Natasha Trethewey containing many poems that have appeared in earlier compilations as well as some new ones. Each is a gem, either an exploration of her own traumatic history...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Melissa

    Haunting. ...

  • 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...

  • Patti K

    A 2018 selection of Trethewey's work is an outstanding work. She delves intohistorical and personal events that question the racism and mistaken narrativeof the Civil War when it came to the Native Gu...

  • Ted Morgan

    This is my introduction to this fine writer's work I hope to read more. I have gently savored these poems. They are fine. I am still savoring but I want to recommend this collection. Her narrative pow...

  • Michael

    I’m very glad I read these poems. The poet wrote these poems, many rooted in her families story: her mother’s murder, her relationship with her father. Many are poems about life in this world and ...