Natasha Trethewey: Los Angeles, California

from “Southern Crescent”

Ahead of her, days of travel, one town
after the next, and California—a word
she can’t stop repeating. Over and over
she will practice meeting her father, imagine
how he must look, how different now
from the one photo she has of him. She will
look once more, pulling into the station
at Los Angeles, and then again and again
on the platform, no one like him in sight.

About the Author

Natasha Trethewey

Prize winner, 2007

Natasha Trethewey is the author of the poetry collections Domestic WorkBellocq’s OpheliaNative Guard, and ThrallDomestic Workwon the 1999 Canem Prize for a first book by an African American poet. She also published the memoir Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Trethewey has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute. She was named the Poet Laureate of the state of Mississippi in 2012 and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. Native Guard was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

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