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Rita Dove: Online Resources

Compiled by Peter Armenti, Digital Reference Specialist

Rita Dove, U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-1995
Rita Dove
U.S. Poet Laureate, 1993-95

On May 19, 1993, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Rita Dove as the 7th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. As Dove's Contemporary Authors biography notes:

[She] has been described as a quiet leader and as an artist who weaves African-American experience into the broader perspective of international culture. Dove's lyrical and accessible poetry reflects the author's interest in music and drama, as well as her commitment to social justice and her sensitivity to women's issues.1

Dove served two terms as poet laureate, finishing her duties in spring 1999. This guide compiles links to resources on Rita Dove throughout the Library of Congress Web site, as well as links to external Web sites that include features on her life or selections of her work. To suggest additions to this guide, please contact the Digital Reference Section.

Rita Dove reading from her poetry, October 7, 1993. From the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.]


Library of Congress Web Site
   •Press Releases
   •Audio and Video
   •Print Resources
External Web Sites
   •Biographical Information, Poetry
   •Interviews, Articles, and Conversations
   •Audio Recordings
   •Rita Dove in the News

Library of Congress Web Site

Press Releases

Official press release announcing Rita Dove's appointment as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Related article from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Official Press release announcing Rita Dove's appointment to a second term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry

Related article from the Library of Congress Information Bulletin

Audio and Video

Poetry in America: A Library of Congress Bicentennial Celebration (Direct link; starts at 13:39)
April 3, 2000

Poet and the Poem Audio Recording, 1999 (Direct link; 58:02)

Rita Dove Reading from Her Poetry (1:02:29)
October 7, 1993

Rita Dove and Edward Hirsch Reading Their Poems (1:09:18)
October 28, 1986

Rita Dove Reading Her Poems in the Montpelier Room (1:01:06)
May 4, 1995.

Print Resources

Works by Rita Dove in the Library of Congress online catalog can be found under the following author heading:

Dove, Rita

Works about Rita Dove can be found in the Library of Congress online catalog under the following subject headings:

Dove, Rita.
Dove, Rita--Aesthetics.
Dove, Rita--Criticism and Interpretation.
Dove, Rita--Interviews.
Dove, Rita--Musical settings.
Dove, Rita.--Poetry.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

(Some links open RealAudio files. Download a free version of RealPlayer software.)

Biographical Information, Poetry

Academy of American Poets
Biography of Rita Dove, samples of her poetry, and links to related Web sites.

University of Virginia, Department of English Faculty Page
Lists Rita Dove's degrees, interests, honors, and academic positions, as well as a bibliography of her work.

Ohioana Authors
Biography of Rita Dove.

Poetry Foundation
Biography of Rita Dove, bibliography of her writings, and more than 15 online poems.

Poet's Corner
Biography of Rita Dove from Contemporary Southern Writers, St. James Press, 1999.

The Rita Dove Home Page
Biography of Rita Dove, interviews, online videos, audio recordings, and links to other resources about Dove.

Interviews, Articles, and Conversations

"Rita Dove reads at Literary Festival"
The Kenyon Collegian, November 15, 2018

"Rita Dove, John ‘Derf’ Backderf among Recipients of Cleveland Arts Prizes"
Beacon Journal, August 2, 2018

"Rita Dove to Become New York Times Magazine’s Poetry Editor"
, April 27, 2018

"An Interview with Rita Dove"
Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2016

"The World Has to Fall Away: An Interview with Rita Dove"
The Georgia Review, Spring 2016

"Until the Fulcrum Tips: A Conversation with Rita Dove and Jericho Brown"
Best American Poetry blog, December 12, 2011

Poet at the Dance: Rita Dove in Conversation
Interviewed by Robert McDowell, Academy of American Poets; article originally appeared in American Poet, Fall 2003

"An Interview with Ms. Dove"
The Book Report, April 8, 1997

Rita Dove Interview
Interviewed by M. Wynn Thomas, The Swansea Review, August 12, 1995

Rita Dove Interview
Academy of American Achievement, June 18, 1994

Rita Dove: On the Genesis of "Parsley"
Excepts from an interview with Stan Sanvel Rubin and Judith Kitchen, 1985

Audio Recordings

Radio Programs

"Akron's Rita Dove on Poetry and Politics" (13:02)
ideastream, October 12, 2018

"Rita Dove: Set Phasers To Poem" (13:29)
Ask Me Another, NPR, August 25, 2017

Rita Dove: "Collected Poems: 1974 – 2004"
The Diane Rehm Show, NPR, May 5, 2016

"Rita Dove, Teatro Publico de Cleveland & 12 Hours of Terror" (49:31)
The Sound of Applause, October 13, 2014

Rita Dove On New Anthology, Advice For Young Poets (13:55)
Tell Me More, NPR, January 2, 2012

Talking Volumes: Rita Dove (54:09)
Minnesota Public Radio, May 18, 2009

Poets Laureate Talk about Their Art (54:14)
Minnesota Public Radio, May 13, 2009

Dikika Child/ Rita Dove/ Michael Neumann/ Eric Gorfain
KXJZ's Insight, Capital Public Radio, May 12, 2009

Rita Dove: Sonata Mulattica (51:20)
The Diane Rehm Show, NPR, May 5, 2009

Poet's Corner: 'Parsley' by Rita Dove (04:57)
News & Notes, NPR, March 1, 2005

Rita Dove, American Smooth (27:42)
Bookworm, KCRW, March 25, 2004

Other Audio

"How Does a Shadow Shine?" (34:59)
Recording from the Key West Literary Seminar, January 2010

Making History: John Hope Franklin and Rita Dove (Direct link; 1:25:54)
University of Virginia, March 22, 2006

Reads "Lady Freedom Among Us"
Read at the occasion of the return of the statue Freedom to the dome of the U.S. Capitol, October 23, 1993

Poetry Archive
Rita Dove reads five of her poems

Readings from's Poetry Archive
"Against Self-Pity"
"Blues in Half-Tones, ¾ Time"
"Ta Ta Cha Cha"
"Two for the Montrose Drive-In"

Rita Dove Reads "Reunion 2005"
Academy of American Poets

Rita Dove Reads "Weathering Out"
Academy of American Poets

Videos (includes television programs, readings, and discussions)

How does a Shadow Shine? Poetry, Music & the Underside of History (01:28:17)
King’s College London Arts and Humanities Festival, Octeober 13, 2015

Black Writers: Rita Dove and John Wideman (1:33:47)
WGBH Forum Network, March 5, 2003

Rita Dove at Old Dominion University's Annual Literary Festival
Old Dominion University, October 15, 1999

An Interview with Rita Dove
The Charlie Rose Show, June 4, 1999

If You Can't Be Free, Be A Mystery: The Poetry of Rita Dove (28:03)
University of California Television, February 1999

Reflections of a Poet Laureate (26:32)
Research Channel, January 1, 1995

Rita Dove Interview (includes several video clips from Dove's interview)
Academy of Achievement, June 18, 1994

Rita Dove (49:37)
Poet Vision, January 26, 1989

Videos of Rita Dove Dancing
The Rita Dove Home Page

Note: A number of other short video clips featuring Dove are available on YouTube.


Modern American Poetry
Includes information on Dove's poem "Parsley," as well as several interviews and online poems


Collected Poems: 1974-2004

Library Journal

Los Angeles Times

The New York Times

The Rumpus

The Washington Post

Sonata Mulattica (2009)

Los Angeles Times

The New York Times

The New Yorker

O, The Oprah Magazine

American Smooth (2004)

A Collection of Reviews Available on the Rita Dove Home Page

Valparaiso Poetry Review

The Virginia Quarterly Review

On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999)

Michigan Quarterly Review

Rita Dove in the News

Google News search on Rita Dove

Blog entries on Rita Dove, via Technorati


1. Contemporary Authors Online, "Rita Dove," Gale, 2008. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI.: Gale, 2008. (accessed May 29, 2008).

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