Rita Dove

Rita Dove is the second African American to have served as Poet Laureate of the United States. She held that position from 1993 to 1995 and then again during the Bicentennial. Her poetry has been set to music numerous times, including settings by Tania Léon, Alvin Singleton, John Williams, and Amnon Wolman.

Photo: Rita Dove, 2004, photograph by Fred Viebahn

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Born in Akron, Ohio, Rita Dove excelled in school during her youth. She did her undergraduate studies at the Miami University of Ohio and earned her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. She also received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Germany.

Dove has published several volumes of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah (1986), for which she won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. Dove’s poetry has been described as “lyrical and accessible” and clearly reflects her interest in music.

She has taught at the University of Virginia Charlottesville since 1989.

–Christie Finn

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