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Join Former Poet Laureate Rita Dove on December 2011 Enrichment Voyage

This December’s voyage will feature Rita Dove as one of its keynote speakers. Presently, she is a professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. where she lives with her husband. In 1993 she was appointed Poet Laureate and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Not only was she the second African American to be appointed to the position but was also the youngest person to serve in it. In 2004, she became Poet Laureate for the Commonwealth of Virginia and served for two years. In both of these positions, Dove looked to spread interest in poetry by emphasizing the benefits of literature.

Dove was born in Akron, Ohio in 1952 to a chemist who broke color barriers in his career field and a mother who had a deep love of reading. Growing up in a home full of books, she was an avid reader who developed an early passion for writing. She attended Miami University in Ohio where she graduated summa cum laude. Early in her career, she taught creative writing at Arizona State University from 1981 to 1989. In her time at ASU, she received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. She began teaching at the University of Virginia in 1989 where, today, she holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English.

Her poetry collections include 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), Sonata Mulattica (2009), and essays under the title The Poet’s World (1995). She also published a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday (1985) in addition to the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992).

Other Recognitions:
1996 – Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities
1996 – National Humanities Medal
1997 – Sara Lee Frontrunner Award
1997 – Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award
2001 – Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award
2003 – Emily Couric Leadership Award
2006 – Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service
2007 – Chubb Fellow at Yale University
2008 ‚Äì Library of Virginia’s Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 – Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal
2009 ‚Äì Premio Capri (The international prize of the Italian “island of poetry”)

  • Arts
  • Education

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