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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Natasha Trethewey is the 2024 Eudora Welty Lecturer

Press release: February 21, 2024 — Washington, DC

Author W. Ralph Eubanks to introduce Trethewey at the event

Folger Shakespeare Library and the Eudora Welty Foundation host reading on Thursday, March 21 at 7:30pm at the National Press Club


On Thursday, March 21 at 7:30pm, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Eudora Welty Foundation present the annual Eudora Welty Lecture with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Natasha Trethewey (New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive and Native Guard) at the National Press Club. In the spirit of Welty’s treasured One Writer’s Beginnings, Natasha Trethewey will give a lecture describing her own creative origins. A book-signing will follow the lecture.

Celebrated author W. Ralph Eubanks (Ever Is a Long Time and The House at the End of the Road.) will introduce Trethewey.

Tickets are $25 ($20 for Folger Members and subscribers) and can be purchased at or by contacting the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

Previous Welty Lectures were delivered by Salman Rushdie in 2016, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2017, Richard Ford in 2018, Jesmyn Ward in 2019, Ann Patchett in 2022, and Elizabeth Strout in 2023.

This event is produced by the Eudora Welty Foundation in partnership with the Folger Shakespeare Library.

About the Authors:

Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), while also serving as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir; a book of nonfiction, Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and five collections of

poetry: Monument: Poems New & Selected, which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall; Native Guard, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia; and Domestic Work, which was selected by Rita Dove as the winner of the inaugural Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the best first book by an African American poet.

She is also the editor of The Essential Muriel Rukeyser, Best New Poets 2007: 50 Poems From Emerging Writers, and Best American Poetry 2017. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Beinecke Library at Yale, and the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. From 2015-2016, she served as poetry editor of the New York Times Magazine. In 2017 she received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities, and in 2020, she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry from the Library of Congress. A member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets in 2019.

At Northwestern University she is Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Ralph Eubanks is the author of A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through A Real and Imagined Literary Landscape. He is also the author of two other works of nonfiction: Ever Is a Long Time and The House at the End of the Road. A writer and essayist whose work focuses on race, identity, and the American South, he was a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow and the 2021-2022 Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Currently, he is a faculty fellow and writer-in-residence at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

About Folger Shakespeare Library:

The Folger Shakespeare Library makes Shakespeare’s stories and the world in which he lived accessible. Anchored by the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is a place where curiosity and creativity are embraced, and conversation is always encouraged. Visitors to the Folger can choose how they want to experience the arts and humanities, from interactive exhibitions to captivating performances, and from path-breaking research to transformative educational programming. The Folger welcomes everyone to connect in their own way—from communities throughout Washington DC to communities across the globe.

Following a multiyear building renovation, the Folger’s historic Capitol Hill home will fully reopen to the public on June 21, 2024. Learn more at

About the Eudora Welty Foundation:

The Eudora Welty Foundation’s broad mission is to preserve Eudora Welty’s literary legacy.  The Foundation accomplishes its mission in part by events like the Welty Lecture which is intended to encourage both writers and readers. The Foundation’s goals are to celebrate Eudora Welty and enhance appreciation of her work through educational activities, programs, and research. The Foundation also assists the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in preservation of Eudora’s home and garden and the Welty Collection of manuscripts, correspondence, and photographs. To visitors from across America and around the world, the Welty Home and Garden provides a literary experience to increase understanding of Welty’s life and work. Welty’s fiction affirms that the imagination can be a powerful force to combat suffering, both physical and spiritual. Programming emphasizes Welty’s striking intellect and creative powers, her devotion to the humanities, the place of literature in our lives, and the role of the writer in our society. Learn more at

WHAT: Eudora Welty Lecture: Natasha Trethewey

WHERE: The National Press Club, 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC

WHEN: Thursday, March 21, 2023 at 7:30pm

Tickets & Information:  Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077 or

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Press contacts

Peter Eramo, Jr., 540.226.7385 /

Garland Scott, 202.675.0342 /

Teri Cross Davis, 202.675. 0374 /