Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

Under the Radar Book Club

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Natasha Trethewey
Memorial Drive

Natasha Tretheway is an award-winning poet and professor. She was named the United States Poet Laureate in both 2012 and 2013 and the Poet Laureate of Mississippi in 2012. Tretheway has published several collections, including Native Guard, which won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; and Bellocq’s Ophelia, which was selected as a “2003 Notable Book” by the American Library Association. Her latest work, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, tells her story as a poet emerging from the immense tragedy of her mother's murder at the hands of her stepfather. Library Journal calls it “a moving, heartbreaking memoir about a traumatic event and the path to healing."

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Callie Crossley hosts Basic Black on GBH 2, the longest-running program on public television concerning communities of color. She also hosts Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, a weekly program on 89.7 GBH sharing voices of our community. She appears on Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage and contributes a weekly commentary on 89.7 GBH’s Morning Edition. A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Crossley is also a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, focusing on media literacy, politics and the intersection of race, gender and media. Her work has received broad acclaim, with Basic Black most recently earning the prestigious 2020 Governors Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Boston/New England Chapter. She is the first African American to win an Oscar nomination in the Documentary Feature category, for the “Bridge to Freedom” segment in Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years. She has won many of the region’s and nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 2019 Yankee Quill, New England’s highest journalistic honor. She is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Arts from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Cambridge College.


Our first session of BBF 2020 will be broadcast on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley on GBH radio, 89.7. Tune in or listen later to Callie Crossley’s conversation with Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey about her memoir, Memorial Drive. Trethewey brings a poet’s lyricism to the tale of her mother’s murder by her ex-husband, Trethewey’s stepfather. The title refers to the road where Trethewey’s mother was killed, which runs from downtown Atlanta to Stone Mountain, the nation’s largest monument to the Confederacy. It  refers also to the author’s birthday on Confederate Memorial Day and to the task of memorializing and contextualizing her mother’s life and death. The New York Times review describes this searing work as “a controlled burn of chaos and intellection; it is a memoir that will really lay you out.” Join Callie Crossley and Natasha Trethewey for this unique audio kickoff to BBF 2020.