Natasha Trethewey - BEYOND KATRINA

BEYOND KATRINA: A Meditation on the Mississippi Culf Coast by Natasha Trethewey

One of our finest poets on memory, loss, and recovery in the wake of Katrina


Please join us for a special evening with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey when she comes to Octavia Books to read from and sign BEYOND KATRINA.

Beyond Katrina is Trethewey’s very personal profile of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by hurricane Katrina.

Trethewey spent her childhood in Gulfport, where much of her mother’s extended family, including her younger brother, still lives. As she worked to understand the devastation that followed the hurricane, Trethewey found inspiration in Robert Penn Warren’s book Segregation: The Inner Conflict in the South, in which he spoke with southerners about race in the wake of the Brown decision, capturing an event of wide impact from multiple points of view. Weaving her own memories with the experiences of family, friends, and neighbors, Trethewey traces the erosion of local culture and the rising economic dependence on tourism and casinos. She chronicles decades of wetland development that exacerbated the destruction and portrays a Gulf Coast whose citizens—particularly African Americans—were on the margins of American life well before the storm hit. Most poignantly, Trethewey illustrates the destruction of the hurricane through the story of her brother’s efforts to recover what he lost and his subsequent incarceration.

Renowned for writing about the idea of home, Trethewey’s attempt to understand and document the damage to Gulfport started as a series of lectures at the University of Virginia that were subsequently published as essays in the Virginia Quarterly Review. For Beyond Katrina, Trethewey has expanded this work into a narrative that incorporates personal letters, poems, and photographs, offering a moving meditation on the love she holds for her childhood home.


Listen to NPR's Fresh Air interview with Natasha Trethewey by Terry Gross


See trailer video of Natasha Trethewey discussing Beyond Katrina



Natasha and Joe in front of Fort Massachussets, Ship Island, Mississippi, circa 1999

Natasha Trethewey and her brother Joe stand in front of Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island, Miss., circa 1999.


Natasha TretheweyNatasha Trethewey is the author of three collections of poetry: Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, and Native Guard, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University.





Event date: 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 6:00pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780820333816
Published: University of Georgia Press - September 1st, 2010

Beyond Katrina is poet Natasha Trethewey’s very personal profile of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by hurricane Katrina.

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