Natasha TrethewayPhoto by Jill Norton

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Poet Natasha Trethewey, who joined Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences as a Board of Trustees Professor of English on Sept. 1, has been selected by the Heinz Family Foundation to receive the 22nd Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities category.

The $250,000 unrestricted cash award recognizes Ms. Trethewey’s outstanding
achievements as a poet, writer, and teacher. The Mississippi native was
awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2007 for “Native Guard: Poems” and served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate.

Ms. Trethewey’s poetry draws on extensive research and on memories of her own experience as the daughter of an African American mother and white father; their marriage was illegal in Mississippi at that time. Her themes explore memory, history and racial injustice, and her writing style moves effortlessly from free verse to more traditional forms.