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Biography Rita Dove

U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-1995

Special Bicentennial Consultant, 1999-2000

2022 Bobbitt Prize Winner

Rita Dove
Rita Dove, U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-1995. Photo credit: Fred Viebahn

Rita Dove was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1952. She is the author of  11 collections of poetry, including “Thomas and Beulah” (1986), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; “On the Bus with Rosa Parks” (1999), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; “Collected Poems 1974-2004” (2016); and, most recently, “Playlist from the Apocalypse: Poems” (2021). From 1993-1995, she served as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was also appointed the Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004-2006 and served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Dove was the editor of “The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry” (2013) and guest editor of “Best American Poetry 2000,” and she has served as The New York Times poetry editor and the editor for The Washington Post’s “Poets Choice” feature. Her many honors include the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Poetry, the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts. In 2022 she received the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry (for lifetime achievement) from the Library of Congress. A member of the both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dove has been teaching at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville since 1989, where she is currently the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing.

Videos with Rita Dove

Audio Recordings with Rita Dove

Selected Works at the Library of Congress

Videos from the Library of Congress