A native of Gulfport, Miss., Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2006. She is professor of English at Emory University; she was named the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate in June.
Trethewey is the first Southerner to hold the post since Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate, and the first African-American since Rita Dove in 1993.
The Contemporary Writers Series aims to expose students and other readers to award-winning fiction and nonfiction writers, translators and poets.