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Natasha Trethewey Quotes

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Poetry’s a thing that belongs to everyone  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) I want to be the best advocate and promoter for poetry that I can be  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) What is love?/ One name for it is knowledge  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) My mother was murdered by my step-father, my brother’s father, who was also named Joel, twenty-five years ago. Whatever sadness or burden I’ve been living with since then, my brother’s also been living with, but he’s lived with the added burden of having the exact same name as our mother’s murderer.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Even as I think of myself as a ‘rememberer,’ I also know my memory is probably doing all this work to reconstruct a narrative where I come off better.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) In my own life, I believe it was an early education in poetical metaphor that helped me to grapple with and make sense of all the difficult and traumatic things that were to come.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) It’s so necessary to try and record the cultural memory of people. To set it down for generations to come. To better understand where we are headed. The problem is, a good portion of what we choose to remember is about willed forgetting. Which we all do, I believe, to protect ourselves from what is too difficult.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) For a long time, I’ve been interested in cultural memory and historical erasure  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Often people would mistake me for white when I was younger, and I didn’t correct them; there would be a period of time that they just thought I was.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) As much as we love each other, there is some growing difficulty in my adult relationship with my father. Because we’re both writers, we’re having a very intimate conversation in a very public forum.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) The entirety of ‘Bellocq’s Ophelia’ was a project, and I was interested in doing research and looking at photographs and writing about them, imagining this woman Ophelia and what her life was like and the kinds of things she thought about.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) I love mystery novels... I love seeing the dramas played out in academic departments, particularly English departments. I started reading these when I was going up for tenure.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Isolated and unincorporated, North Gulfport lacked a basic infrastructure: flooding and contaminated drinking water were frequent problems. Although finally incorporated in 1994 - not long after the arrival of the first casino - many of North Gulfport’s streets still lack curbs, sidewalks, and gutters.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) It took me years of attempts and failed drafts before I finally wrote the elegies I needed to write.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) I was always very aware of the nature of the place where I was growing up in Gulfport, Mississippi, how that place was shaping my experience of the world. I had to go to the Northeast for graduate school because I felt like I had to get far away from my South, be outside it, to understand it.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) My father is a poet, my stepmother is a poet, and so I always had encouragement as a child to write.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) When I write notes in my journal, I’m just trying to scribble down as much as possible. Later on, I decide whether to follow some of those first impressions or whether to abandon them.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) I started out in graduate school to be a fiction writer. I thought I wanted to write short stories. I started writing poems at that point only because a friend of mine dared me to write a poem. And I took the dare because I was convinced that I couldn’t write a good poem... And then it actually wasn’t so bad.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Often it seems that there are writers who are their best selves on the page. That Seamus Heaney was as genuine and deeply admirable in person as in his poems was to me a gift, then as now.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Even though I am the daughter of a poet, and my stepmother is also a poet, growing up, I didn’t think I could understand poetry; I didn’t think that it had any relevance to my life, the feelings that I endured on a day-to-day basis, until I was introduced to the right poem.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) One of two historically African American communities that sprang up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast after emancipation, North Gulfport has always been a place where residents have had fewer civic resources than those extended to other outlying communities.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) Growing up, my birthday was always Confederate Memorial Day. It helped to create this profound sense of awareness about the Civil War and the 100 years between the Civil War and the civil rights movement and my parents’ then-illegal and interracial marriage.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) I think the biggest thing that I have to do is to remind people that poetry is there for us to turn to not only to remind us that we’re not alone - for example, if we are grieving the loss of someone - but also to help us celebrate our joys. That’s why so many people I know who’ve gotten married will have a poem read at the wedding.  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) The act of making poetry is an act of hope  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) When I was born here in Gulfport in 1966, my parents’ interracial marriage was still illegal. And it was very hard to drive around town with my parents, to be out in public with my parents  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) The experience of poetry could bring my mother back to me. Poetry offers a different kind of solace - here on earth  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) My obsessions stay the same - historical memory and historical erasure. I am particularly interested in the Americas and how a history that is rooted in colonialism, the language and iconography of empire, disenfranchisement, the enslavement of peoples, and the way that people were sectioned off because of blood  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) In the early 1970s in Atlanta, I attended what had formerly been an all-white school but had become a black school after integration and white flight. Perhaps because of this, the teachers created a curriculum that included a focus on African American literature and history year-round, not just in February  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes) My own journey in becoming a poet began with memory - with the need to record and hold on to what was being lost. One of my earliest poems, Give and Take, was about my Aunt Sugar, how I was losing her to her memory loss  (Natasha Trethewey Quotes)
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