Rita Dove

A black and white image of a black woman smiling

Rita Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband Fred Viebahn. (They have a grown daughter, Aviva Dove-Viebahn.) From 1993 to 1995 she served as Poet Laureate of the United States, and from 2004 to 2006 as Poet Laureate of Virginia. She has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and, more recently, the 1996 Heinz Award, the 1996 National Humanities Medal, the 1997 Sara Lee Frontrunner Award, the 1997 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, the 2000 Library Lion medal from the New York Public Library, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2006 Common Wealth Award. Ms. Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952. A 1970 Presidential Scholar, she received her B.A. summa cum laude from Miami University of Ohio and her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She also held a Fulbright scholarship at the Universität Tübingen in Germany. She has published the poetry collections The Yellow House on the Corner (1980), Museum (1983), Thomas and Beulah (1986), Grace Notes (1989), Selected Poems (1993), Mother Love (1995), On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999), American Smooth (2004), a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday (1985),the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992), essays under the title The Poet’s World (1995), the play The Darker Face of the Earth (first produced in 1996), and the song cycle Seven for Luck (music by John Williams, first performed in 1998). She edited the anthology Best American Poetry 2000 and from 2000 to 2002 wrote a weekly column, “Poet’s Choice”, for The Washington Post. A new poetry book, Sonata Mulattica, will be published in the spring of 2009.

Rita Dove’s official homepage with additional information, photographs and numerous other links can be found at http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rfd4b/

See also: Therese Steffen, CROSSING COLOR — Transcultural Space and Place in Rita Dove’s Poetry, Fiction, and Drama. Oxford University Press, New York 2001. Malin Pereira, Rita Dove’s Cosmopolitanism. University of Illinois Press, 2003. Earl G. Ingersoll, Conversations with Rita Dove. University Press of Mississippi, 2003. Pat Righelato, Understanding Rita Dove. University of South Carolina Press, 2006.

Issues Edited by This Author

Articles by This Author