Monument: Poems New & Selected by Natasha Trethewey

$26 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Like a seamless tapestry, Natasha Trethewey weaves together joy, provocation, and American history in her newest collection of poems, Monument: Poems New & Selected. Each section propels us forward as it interrogates not only the stories of Black Americans, but the erasure of trauma and family history. Trethewey is masterful. It would not be too far off to call each of these poems its own painting. Similar to the way a painter layers, she too layers—creating holistic narratives for us to enter and settle into. Although this collection integrates selected work, including work from her Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Thrall, Monument reinvents how we move through society, always being reminded of our identities and our homeland. Whether about art—“When I see Frank’s photograph […] I think of my mother and the year / we spent alone”—or landscape—“I return / to Mississippi, state that made a crime // of me—mulatto, half-breed”—Trethewey’s work embodies the fleeting feeling of love and lament that leaves us craving more.

—Luther Hughes