Monument: Poems New and Selected

Monument: Poems New and Selected Review

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry

“[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.” —James H. Billington, 13th Librarian of Congress
 
Layering joy and urgent defiance—against physical and cultural erasure, against white supremacy whether intangible or graven in stone—Trethewey’s work gives pedestal and witness to unsung icons. Monument, Trethewey’s first retrospective, draws together verse that delineates the stories of working class African American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings, Gulf coast victims of Katrina. Through the collection, inlaid and inextricable, winds the poet’s own family history of trauma and loss, resilience and love.
 
In this setting, each section, each poem drawn from an “opus of classics both elegant and necessary,”* weaves and interlocks with those that come before and those that follow. As a whole, Monument casts new light on the trauma of our national wounds, our shared history. This is a poet’s remarkable labor to source evidence, persistence, and strength from the past in order to change the very foundation of the vocabulary we use to speak about race, gender, and our collective future.
 
*Academy of American Poets’ chancellor Marilyn Nelson

Title:Monument: Poems New and Selected

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This was a collection of some of her earlier works into a really stunning book of poems. Many are in memory of her mother, who was murdered by her stepfather. The other poems deal largely with race an...

  • Kent Winward

    This collection is one of the better poetry collections I have read in some time. The author's mixed race heritage is fruitful ground for exploring what it means to be human and parts of others. The p...

  • Jeffrey Parker

    Over the years I’ve read each of Natasha Tretheway’s collections in isolation, enjoying to greater or lesser degree each one. In Monument, however, experiencing these poems together and allowing t...

  • Erica Wright

    Trethewey is a master of narrative, combining the personal and historic with uncanny wisdom and feeling. With this selected, it's possible to see the arc of her thematic development, experience her un...

  • Jim Robles

    Five stars! Wow! I do not read poetry. I do not like poetry. I do not understand poetry. This is a wonderful read."Though we slow down, time's wheel still rolls" (p. 63). Yes! I will be 70 in March. I...

  • Kris Springer

    A beautiful, haunting, instructive poetry collection, a tapestry of Trethewey’s family story, the nation’s story and more. I wonder if the author of Heavy was influenced by Trethewey’s poetry; b...

  • Eline

    Monument by Natasha Trethewey: a poetry collection consisting of serious stories of a mixed-race prostitute, historical struggles of people of colour, about hurricane Katrina, the poet's own family st...

  • Amanda

    Not a big fan of poetry or poetry collections. I was assigned this book for a creative writing class (historical fiction) and enjoyed it. I especially like how the author weaves her own life into poem...

  • James

    A U.S. Poet Laureate and Nobel Prize winner, this book gathers some of Trethewey's best work. A person of mixed race, she examines her own past and the historical past of this country, its racial deal...

  • Katrina

    This is a powerful collection in entrenched in history, loss, and isolation. Raw and hard hitting in places and poignant in others, from what I've seen of Trethewey's poems, I can't help but feel this...