Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey will join Northwestern University’s department of English at the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.

The Mississippi native holds a prominent spot among the nation’s foremost contemporary poets, having won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for “Native Guard,” one of her four published poetry collections, before serving two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States, from 2012 to 2014.

We are delighted Natasha Trethewey is joining our faculty,” Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Dean Adrian Randolph said. “Her internationally recognized poetry will enhance the emphasis Northwestern puts on the arts and writing, across all disciplines, and on African-American literature.

“Her distinctive voice strikes thoughtfully provocative notes, and we are grateful that Northwestern will benefit from her extraordinary achievements.”

After spending the last 15 years at Emory University in Atlanta, most recently as the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, Ms. Trethewey said she is eager for new challenges.

“It seems to me that, at Northwestern, the opportunities for meaningful, exciting and important new work in teaching and research are boundless,” Ms. Trethewey said.