WASHINGTON -- A Pulitzer Prize winner is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial one was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.
Emory University writing professor Natasha Trethewey will be named the library's 19th poet laureate Thursday. She is also Mississippi's top poet.
The 46-year-old Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poems, "Native Guard." They focused partly on history that was erased because it was never recorded.
She wrote of the Louisiana Native Guard, a black Civil War regiment assigned to guard white Confederate soldiers held on Ship Island off Mississippi's Gulf Coast. Confederate prisoners were memorialized, but the black Union soldiers weren't.
The first poet laureate was Robert Penn Warren -- an inspiration for Trethewey.