Produced on August 28, 1952 in Akron, Ohio, African American poet Rita Dove adored poetry and music from a young age. She was an exceptional pupil and was encouraged to the White House as a Presidential Scholar out of high school. She’s won numerous awards for her work, including a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for the novel of poetryThomas and Beulah. Other publications from Dove contain Mother Love and Sonata Mulattica.
Produced in Akron, Ohio on August 28, 1952, Rita Dove developed a love for learning and literature at a young age in a family that supported reading. Dove was honored as a Presidential Scholar, being ranked among the best 100 high school pupils in the country, so when a National Merit Scholar attended Ohio’s Miami University, graduating in 1973 summa cum laude. The two wed in 1979 and went on to get a daughter, Aviva.
Dove built a great career in academia, eventually teaching in the University of Virginia and becoming an esteemed, award winning poet. Dove printed chapbooks early in her career and made her mark with groups such as The Yellow House on the Corner(1980)and Museum (1983). Dove is understood not just for the layered eloquence of Dove’s language and thoughts but also for describing parts of the black experience in the United States, both on an individual and collective front.
In 1986 Dove printed Thomas and Beulah, a semi autobiographical look in the lives of her grandparents that won the poetry Pulitzer Prize the next year. In May of 1993, Dove was named the poet laureate of America, a place held formerly by bards like Robert Penn Warren and Joseph Brodsky. She was the very first African American named to the place and also the primary girl as well as the youngest, at 41 years old. (African American writers Robert Hayden and Gwendolyn Brooks were both Library of Congress Advisors in Poetry, that has been replaced by the Poet Laureate Adviser title in 1985.)
Along with RobertHayden poetry, Dove has written prose, as seen using the short story collection Fifth Sunday (1985), the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992) as well as the essay collection The Poet’s World (1995). She’s also written the play The Darker Face of the Earth (1994), and collaborated as a lyricist having various composers. The Poetry Foundation has released an all-inclusive bibliography of Dove’s works.