Native Guard

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov 6, 2007 - Poetry - 64 pages
126 Reviews
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Natasha Trethewey’s elegiac Native Guard is a deeply personal volume that brings together two legacies of the Deep South.

The title of the collection refers to the Mississippi Native Guards, a black regiment whose role in the Civil War has been largely overlooked by history. As a child in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the 1960s, Trethewey could gaze across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives once were guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause. The racial legacy of the South touched Trethewey’s life on a much more immediate level, too. Many of the poems in Native Guard pay loving tribute to her mother, whose marriage to a white man was illegal in her native Mississippi in the 1960s. Years after her mother’s tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten.

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Review: Native Guard

User Review  - C. Derick Varn - Goodreads

I have read all four of Tretheway's books of poetry since I started reading her in graduate school ten years ago. I am not normally the prime audience for narrative poetry cycles like this, but ... Read full review

Review: Native Guard

User Review  - Michelle Cristiani - Goodreads

These words are full of beauty, but are specific enough as to be unrelatable for me personally. I do love how the book is in effect a life history. How brilliant to put your family history and ... Read full review



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About the author (2007)

NATASHA TRETHEWEY is the current U.S. Poet Laureate and is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. Native Guard, her third collection of poetry, received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was published in 2010. A new collection of poetry, Thrall, is forthcoming in September.

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