The Southern Quarterly's Special Issue on Natasha Trethewey

Emory University
Published February 25, 2014
Jesse P. Karlsberg
Emory University
Cover of the Southern Quarterly special issue on Natasha Trethewey.

The Southern Quarterly recently published a special issue devoted to the work of Natasha Trethewey, US Poet Laureate and member of Southern Spaces's editorial board. As Southern Quarterly editor Philip C. Kolin notes, at forty-seven, Trethewey is "the youngest writer to have a special issue [of the journal] focused on her achievements."1 In an essay eulogizing the poet Seamus Heaney, Trethewey describes feeling a "calling to make sense of my South, with its terrible beauty, its violent and troubled past,"2 signaling how the southern and spatial contexts in which she grew up inform the themes she engages in her writing. Guest edited by Joan Wylie Hall, the Southern Quarterly special issue addresses themes of history, race, place, memory, and intertextuality through poems, an in-depth interview with Trethewey, and eight critical essays.

Southern Spaces is happy to have supported the Southern Quarterly by granting permission to include a number of images of Trethewey that have previously appeared in publications in our journal. This special issue complements scholarship published in Southern Spaces analyzing Trethewey's life and work, including Jake Adam York's 2010 interview with Trethewey, and Coleman Hutchison's presentation "Three Poems and a Critique of Postracialism," which charts how Trethewey and poets Elizabeth Alexander and C. S. Giscombe "conceive of, interrogate, and then steadfastly refuse the concept of the postracial in and for a post-emancipation society."3 Former Southern Spaces managing editor Katie Rawson compiled a bibliography of Trethewey's extensive contributions to our journal in a post congratulating Trethewey on her appointment as US Poet Laureate.

Copies of the special issue of the Southern Quarterly on Natasha Trethewey (volume 50, number 4) are available and may be ordered by following the instructions on the journal's "Order Back Issues" page. The journal has published the Natasha Trethewey issue's table of contents and introductions from the journal's editor and the special issue's guest editor on its website.


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