by Natasha Trethewey
The Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma book discussion series at Oklahoma City University continues with Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in OCU’s Walker Center Room 151.
The discussion series is titled “Civil Rights and Equality: A Pulitzer Prize Centennial Series” and is made possible through a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the Pulitzer Foundation’s Centennial Campfire Initiative.
Tretheway’s poems offer powerful meditations on the personal and the historical, on the rights we deserve as citizens as well as the rights we deserve at home.
Poems are seldom included in the Let’s Talk About It series; however, poems often provide powerful meditations on a theme, and meditating together on such themes holds the possibility of enriching the community engaged in mutual exploration.
Natasha Tretheway, one of the finest living poets in the U.S., offers an accessible collection of related poems that explore her own childhood history in the South alongside an exploration of the history of the Louisiana “Native Guard,” an African American branch of the National Guard that served the state during the Civil War. These explorations are framed by the opening poem, which establishes the poet’s road trip back to the Gulf Coast as she embarks on a trip that evokes her own family’s past in the region as well as engages her in historical research and contemplations on place, images, and identity. Readers follow the poet’s journey through memory and our larger shared histories as she processes it all through lyrical language and rich images.
At each session in the five-part series, a humanities scholar makes a presentation on the book in the context of the theme. For this book, our speaker will be Dr. Harbour Winn. Small group discussions follow with experienced discussion leaders. At the end, all participants come together for a brief wrap-up.
While all books to loan in this series have been checked out, members of the Oklahoma City-area community are welcome to bring their own copies of the book and join the conversation.
For more information call 405-208-5707, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
* Oct. 11, The Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle
* Oct. 25, A Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
* Nov. 1, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo