Poet Natasha Trethewey, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Native Guard, has sold a poetry collection* to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Titled Thrall, it will be published in fall of 2012.
Trethewey taught at Auburn University while I was at school there, and though I never took a class with her (my decision to concentrate in tech writing was partly a nod to my lack of creative writing ability) I attended one of her readings when her first collection, Domestic Work, was published in 1999. It drew such acclaim that the young assistant professor became one of the English department’s most prominent faculty members, and Emory stole her away just a few years later with the offer of the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry.
Trethewey’s background has profoundly influenced her poems, many of which, like “Flounder,” are very personal. She was born in Mississippi in 1966 to a black mother and a white father. Their marriage was illegal in the state at the time. Though they divorced while Trethewey was still young—she moved with her mother to Atlanta—the poet spent childhood summers on the Gulf Coast.
*The original deal announced the sale of a novel, but Thrall is another poetry collection. The post has been corrected.