Joseph Crespino in Conversation with Natasha Trethewey on History and Poetry at “Neil Asks” Event

Emory professors Joe Crespino, Kevin Young and Natasha Trethewey discuss poetry and history at the "Neil Asks" event.

Dr. Joseph Crespino, Jimmy Carter Professor of History, recently participated in a discussion about history and poetry with Natasha Trethaway, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing, director of the Creative Writing program and former U.S. poet laureate. Moderated by Kevin Young, Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, the conversation marked the 8th edition of the “Neil Asks” event. Check out an excerpt from the Emory News Center article below and read the full piece.

Both Crespino and Trethewey agreed that, with history and poetry, “there is always borrowing across the line,” as she noted. Crespino views that borrowing as a necessity, saying that even with regard to 20th-century history, where we are blessed with so much source material, still “there are so many silences in the archives” that need unpacking, whether by poets or historians.