Natasha Trethewey, a former AU faculty member who won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, will join two other published poets with Auburn ties in a Jan. 24 symposium at the Jule Collins Smith Museum.
At the 4 p.m. symposium, “Ekphrasis: Word and Image,” at the AU fine art museum, Trethewey will join Dan Albergotti, who is a former Auburn instructor, and Jake Adam York, a 1994 Auburn graduate. All three taught in the English Department at Auburn in the late 1990s and early in this decade.
“Ekphrasis” is a term used to define poetry that takes as its subject visual arts, art objects or highly visual scenes. Ekphrasis has been a principal component of the work of Trethewey as well as Albergotti and York.
Trethewey, who holds the Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry at Emory University, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for the poetry volume “Native Guard,” which pays homage to black Union soldiers in Louisiana during the Civil War. Houghton Mifflin published the book in 2006.
Trethewey’s first two poetry collections, “Domestic Work,” and “Bellocqs Ophelia,” written or published while she was on the Auburn faculty, also garnered awards. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, and she has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Albergotti’s first full-length collection, “The Boatloads,” won the 2007 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and will be published in March by BOA Editions. His poems have appeared in Mid-American Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. He has been a scholar at the Sewanee and Bread Loaf writers’ conferences and a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, he teaches at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina.
York is the author of “Murder Ballads,” which was selected for the Fifth Annual Elixir Press Awards Judges Prize, and “A Murmuration of Starlings,” both of which won major poetry awards. His poems have appeared in many journals and the anthologies “Visiting Walt” and “Digerati.”
York’s work of poetic history, “The Architecture of Address: The Monument and Public Speech in American Poetry,” was published in 2005. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Colorado, Denver, where he directs an undergraduate Creative Writing program.