Bishop's Bookshelf


Suggested reading from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

Recommendation: Native Guard by Natasha Tretheway

You can get there from here, though
there's no going home.

 Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you've never been. Try this:

 head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off

 another minute of your life. Follow this
to it natural conclusion - dead end

at the coast, the pier at Gulfport. . .

 As a child in Gulfport, Natasha Trethewey gazed across the water to the fort on Ship Island where Confederate captives were once guarded by black soldiers serving the Union cause.  

Her collection of poems, Native Guard, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2007. In her poems, she engages the complexity of her own life and of our history and culture. She is now professor of creative writing at Emory University. She is among the voices of writers of whom Mississippians will always be proud.

Read her poems slowly, savor the beauty of language, the power of honest witness. We are all on a journey, day by day, always onward. 

                                 . . .on the dock 

where you board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture;

the photograph - who you were -
will be waiting when you return.