Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities

Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey to deliver 19th annual Governor’s Lecture

trethewey2gbNatasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and the United States Poet Laureate (2012-2014) will deliver the 19th annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities on September 10th at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in Lincoln. The lecture will be the first in the 2014-15 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues, the theme of which is “The Creative World.” The 7:30 pm lecture, which is free and open to the public, will explore Trethewey’s ideas about the role of poetry in public life.

Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi and is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, where she also directs the Creative Writing Program. She was named the nineteenth United States Poet Laureate by the Library of Congress in 2012. In his citation, Librarian of Congress James Billington wrote that Trethewey’s 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.”

Trethewey is the author of four collections of poetry, including Thrall (Houghton Mifflin, 2012); Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (Graywolf, 2002), which was named a Notable Book for 2003 by the American Library Association; and Domestic Work (Graywolf, 2000). She is also the author of Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (University of Georgia Press, 2010).

GL_SquareImageTrethewey is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. In addition to being United States Poet Laureate, Trethewey is the State Poet Laureate of Mississippi, from 2012-2016.

A benefit reception and dinner will be held prior to the lecture to support HN’s statewide programming, co-chaired by Susan Poser and Barbara Schaefer. The 2014 Sower Award in the Humanities will also be presented at the event.

Order your dinner tickets now.


Watch Natasha Trethewey perform the poem “Liturgy” from her 2010 memoir “Beyond Katrina”:


Co-Sponsored by:

thompson  UniversityOfNebraksa



In 1996, Humanities Nebraska collaborated with Governor Ben Nelson to establish the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, an annual event to demonstrate the importance of the humanities in public life. Governor Dave Heineman enthusiastically supports the lecture, which is free and open to the public. The lecture features a nationally renowned speaker and is preceded by a benefit dinner.  Each year the event alternates between Lincoln and Omaha.  When held in Lincoln, the Governor’s Lecture is affiliated with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

In addition to bringing a nationally recognized speaker to Nebraska and building a strong working relationship with Nebraska’s governor, the Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities increases public visibility for Humanities Nebraska and its programs and generates income for statewide humanities programs.

Annually, Humanities Nebraska honors individuals, institutions, businesses and communities with the Sower Award in the Humanities for contributions to public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska, based on nominations and letters of support from the citizens of Nebraska. The Sower Award is an original bronze sculpture by Nebraska artist Sondra Dunn Mahoney.

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