Arts & Letters Live: Joyce Carol Oates and Natasha Trethewey
Joyce Carol Oates has penned bestselling novels, critically acclaimed collections of short fiction,essays, plays, poetry, and, in January 2016, a memoir about her childhood. The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age is a vivid chronicle of her adolescence in rural western New York and is a powerful evocation of the romance of childhood and its indelible influence on the woman and the writer she would become. Since 1963, 40 of Oates’s books have been included on the New York Times list of notable books of the year. Among her many honors are two O. Henry prizes and two Bram Stoker awards, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. In 2010, reflecting the widespread esteem in which her work is held, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.
Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States from 2012 to 2014. She is the author of four collections of poetry, including Thrall (2012) and Native Guard (2006), which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Librarian of Congress James Billington wrote, “Her poems dig beneath the surface of history—personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago—to explore the human struggles that we all face.” She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among many others. She currently teaches at Emory University, where she is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing.