There's a nice little video of her reading of "Elegy for the Native Guards," presumably a different poem, here, and it is dialect-free.
This stuff is not to my taste and Trethewey does not read well, but it may hold interest for others. From another article:
"Native Guard," the poem, is divided into sections titled by a specific month and year, with each section relating to a specific episode in the war. Explanatory notes for each episode appear at the back of the book; in writing them, Trethewey cited scholarship that is no older than 1995, a reflection of what she believes is relatively recent interest among historians in black soldiers' contributions in the Civil War.I love that conscious turning away from Centennial authors. She also has an ear for good stories. In an interview, she told this one:
We needed maintenance on the air conditioner of our hotel [room]. A man came and fixed it, and waited with us for 10 to 15 minutes to see if it would kick in. We had a bottle of champagne a friend had sent, and this man asked about it. My husband told him [about the Pulitzer announcement], and he was very impressed. He opened my book to my poem “Incident.” He looked at it and read it out loud. Then he put it down and folded his hands in front of him, and recited Countee Cullen’s "Incident."Plato said, "Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history." One looks at ACW history and one wants to say "Nonfiction is nearer to falsehood than fiction."
We need poets to write Civil War history. And if not, at least write more and better Civil War poetry.