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Rita Dove
Rita Dove's official website.
Rita Dove (1952-)
A collection of critical, historical, and biographical information at the Modern American Poetry site.
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Rita Dove
Photo by Fred Viebahn

Rita Dove

In 1952, Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio.

Her books of poetry include Sonata Mulattica (W. W. Norton, 2009); American Smooth (2004); On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999), which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Mother Love (1995); Selected Poems (1993); Grace Notes (1989); Thomas and Beulah (Carnegie Mellon, 1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; Museum (1983); and The Yellow House on the Corner (1980).

In addition to poetry, Dove has published a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday (University of Kentucky Press, 1985), the novel Through the Ivory Gate (Pantheon, 1992), essays in The Poet's World and the verse drama The Darker Face of the Earth (1994). She also edited The Best American Poetry 2000 and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011).

Dove's work traverses a wide range of landscape, applying an unflinching eye upon historical and political events. In her most recent collection, American Smooth, she reflects on her experiences with ballroom dancing. "For Dove, dance is an implicit parallel to poetry," says Emily Nussbaum in The New York Times review of the collection. "Each is an expression of grace performed within limits; each an art weighted by history but malleable enough to form something utterly new."

She served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995. Among her many honors are the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, the 1996 Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities and the 2006 Common Wealth Award. President Bill Clinton bestowed upon her the 1996 National Humanities Medal.

Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, where she has been teaching since 1989. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006.

***

Multimedia

From the inaugural Poets Forum, October 20, 2007 From the Image Archive  
    From the 2009 Poets Forum, October 17, 2009

Poems by
Rita Dove

Adolescence II
Borderline Mambo
from Crossing State Lines [Shirtsleeved afternoons]
Ludwig Van Beethoven's Return to Vienna
Reunion 2005
The Bistro Styx
The Spring Cricket Considers the Question of Negritude
Under the Viaduct, 1932
Vacation
Weathering Out

Prose by
Rita Dove

Poet at the Dance: Rita Dove in Conversation
Postcard: Love reading first
Tribute to Lucille Clifton
Video: Breaking the Line, Breaking the Narrative
Video: Hirsch & Dove on Political Poetry
Video: On Post-Racial Literature
Video: The Musical Influence

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