Poet Natasha Trethewey is an assistant professor of English at Auburn University. Her work has appeared in such journals as Agni, the American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Gettysburg Review, New England Review, and the Southern Review, among others. Her first book, Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000), won the 1999 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.
For her project, entitled “Bellocq’s Ophelia,” Trethewey will continue work on her manuscript of epistolary and diary poems that draw upon images from E.J. Bellocq’s Storyville Portraits, photographs of prostitutes (many of them mixed-race black women) in the New Orleans red-light district circa 1921. She will attempt to imagine the life of a particular woman in the photographs, “Ophelia,” and create a narrative in poems that provides another way of seeing into the lives of Bellocq's unknown female subjects.
Trethewey received her MFA in poetry from the University of Massachusetts. She is the recipient of the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Jessica Nobel-Maxwell Memorial Award for poetry from the American Poetry Review, and the Distinguished Young Alumna Award from the University of Massachusetts. She is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts.