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The Library of Congress has announced that the next poet laureate is Natasha Trethewey, the African-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author of three collections and a professor of creative writing at Emory University.

Trethewey, 46, was born in Gulfport, Miss., and is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the original laureate, and the first African-American since Rita Dove in 1993.

Trethewey will officially take up her duties in September. Her work combines free verse with more traditional forms like the sonnet and the villanelle to explore memory and the racial legacy of America.

Her first volume, “Domestic Work” (2000), is about black maids, washerwomen and factory workers.

Her fourth collection, “Thrall,” is scheduled to appear in the fall. She is also the author of a 2010 nonfiction book, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”



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