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Natasha Trethewey to speak at Ursuline College

Join the Ursuline College community for an afternoon conversation with former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheweywinner of the 2021 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for nonfiction.

Her memoir, “Memorial Drive,” explores her mother’s life and death and the abiding tie between the two women. Trethewey writes of how her mother came to die at the hands of a former husband when the author was 19, as well as the Mississippi context that formed and informed both women.

“When my backstory was written, my mother entered it only as a footnote, or an afterthought – as simply a ‘victim’ or ‘murdered woman,’” Trethewey told the New Yorker. “It really hurt me because her role in my life, in me becoming a writer, was being diminished or erased. I just decided that if she was going to get mentioned then I was going to be the one to tell her story, and to put the important role she played in my making in its proper context.”

Ursuline English Chair Katharine Trostel participated in the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative summer session on teaching “Memorial Drive,” and brought the idea of a campus read of Trethewey’s new classic back to her liberal arts college. Administration and faculty agreed it was an ideal text, especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Hear Trethewey share the story of “Memorial Drive” October 28. This virtual event is open to the public, and registration is required.

Hosted by Ursuline College.

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