Former US poet laureate, Gulfport native to receive Mississippi humanities award
Published 8:04 am Sunday, March 14, 2021
Former Mississippi and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and others will be honored with Mississippi Humanities Council awards, with a ceremony being held online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trethewey, a Gulfport native, will receive the Cora Norman Award in recognition of her literary career. Trethewey is the author of five poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Native Guard.” She also wrote the nonfiction book, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Stuart Rockoff, executive director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, said Trethewey has used her art to “give voice to people who have too often been overlooked, hidden from our traditional narratives.”
“Her work is a testament to the power of truth and remembering in coming to terms with the weight of our history,” he said in a news release.
The 2021 Public Humanities Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. March 26 on the Humanities Council’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
James Giesen, associate professor of history at Mississippi State University, will receive the Humanities Scholar Award for his work with the Mississippi tour of the Smithsonian Institution exhibit, “Waterways.”
Marta Smally will be recognized as Humanities Educator for leading a bilingual family reading program at the Horn Lake public library.
The Hawkins vs. Town of Shaw Project also will be honored. The project produced a play and a series of historical markers telling the story of a local freedom movement in the Mississippi Delta that culminated in a federal civil rights case.
The Humanities Partner Award will go to the Mississippi Book Festival.
The 2020 and 2021 Humanities Teacher Awards will be given to faculty in traditional humanities fields at each of Mississippi’s universities.