RITA DOVE Biography - Famous Poets and dancers


Biography » famous poets and dancers » rita dove


Name: Rita Frances Dove                                                                 
Born: August 28, 1952                                                                   
Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952 in Akron, Ohio, USA) is an American poet       
and author.[1] In 1987, she became the second African American poet to win the         
Pulitzer Prize (after Gwendolyn Brooks in 1950). From 1993 to 1995, she served         
as the first Black and the youngest Poet Laureate of the United States and             
Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress                                           
Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952 as the daughter of the first African               
American research chemist who broke the race barrier in the tire industry. Her         
mother, Elvira Dove nee Hord, had been an honors student in high school and             
loved to read literature -- a passion her daughter would share with her early on.       
A 1970 Presidential Scholar as one of the 100 top American high school graduates       
that year, Rita Dove graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. from Miami University       
in 1973 and received her MFA from the University of Iowa in 1977. In 1974 and           
1975, she held a Fulbright Scholarship at the Eberhard Karls University of             
Tübingen in Germany. She received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and served         
as Poet Laureate of the United States / Consultant in Poetry at the Library of         
Congress from 1993-1995; 1999 and 2000, she was Special Bicentennial Consultant         
in Poetry at the Library of Congress, and from 2004-2006 she was Poet Laureate         
of Virginia. In 1993, at age 40, Dove was elected poet laureate of the United           
States, making her both the youngest and the first African American author to           
hold that position. As poet laureate she concentrated on spreading the word             
about poetry and increasing public awareness of the benefits of literature.             
Since 1989 she has been teaching at the University of Virginia in                       
Charlottesville, where she holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English.       
Dove lives in Charlottesville with her husband, the German-born writer Fred             
Viebahn. They have a grown daughter, Aviva Dove-Viebahn. Before moving to               
Virginia, she taught creative writing at Arizona State University from 1981 to         
Dove's most famous work is Thomas and Beulah, published by Carnegie Mellon             
University Press in 1986, a collection of poems loosely based on the lives of           
her maternal grandparents, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry         
in 1987. She has published eight volumes of poetry (most recently "American             
Smooth", 2004), a book of short stories ("Fifth Sunday", 1985), a collection of         
essays ("The Poet's World", 1995), the novel "Through the Ivory Gate" (1992) and       
the play "The Darker Face of the Earth" (1994; revised stage version 1996),             
which premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon in 1996 (first   
European production: Royal National Theatre, London, 1999). She collaborated           
with composer John Williams on the song cycle "Seven for Love" (first                   
performance: Boston Symphony, Tanglewood, 1998, conducted by the composer), and         
for "America's Millennium", the White House's 1999/2000 New Year's celebration,         
Ms. Dove contributed — in a live reading at the Lincoln Memorial, accompanied by     
John Williams's music — a poem to Steven Spielberg's documentary The Unfinished       
Journey. Her work is featured in American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets (2006),     
and in many other anthologies.