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Grief And Memory With Poet Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey is a former U.S. poet laureate. Her new memoir is called "Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir."
Natasha Trethewey is a former U.S. poet laureate. Her new memoir is called "Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir."

When Natasha Trethewey was 19, her mother was shot and killed by her stepfather.

In her new memoir, “ Memorial Drive,” Trethewey returns to the scene of the crime to confront more than 30 years of grief. Named after the street in Georgia where her mother was murdered, the same street also houses the largest monument to the Confederacy: Stone Mountain. Tretheway writes about those dark memories and mourning the loss of her mother.

“Memorial Drive” is more than a daughter’s memoir. It’s a lesson for a country struggling with the grief of its past and present.

The coronavirus pandemic, along with killings by police, has left us grieving not only the loss of loved ones but also the many lives cut short. Unfortunately, the state of the world has left people unable to grieve fully and together. But even before the tragedy of COVID-19, grief has always been an indomitable force in our lives.

We talk with former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey about that, her latest work and what she’s learned about grief.

If you’re in a dangerous situation at home, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. They operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And if you feel unsafe to speak, you can reach out to them by texting LOVE IS to 22522.

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