Since there are so many facets of the history that people of African descent have made in this country, I’ve decided to continue my “Black History 365″ series from my poetry blog here on my AfrocentriqueAZ blog. In honor of National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting a new Black poet every day this month. Every Wednesday for the months after that I will post other Black history figures (I’ll go back to my “first Black” series).
Today’s poet is Rita Dove (video at the end of the post)
From Famous Poets and Poems and Wikipedia:
Rita Frances Dove (born August 28, 1952) is an American poet and author. From 1993–1995 she served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the first African American to be appointed since the position was created by an act of Congress in 1986 out of the previous “consultant in poetry” position (1937–86). Dove also received an appointment as “special consultant in poetry” for the Library of Congress’s bicentennial year from 1999–2000. Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, in 1987, and she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006.
Besides her Pulitzer Prize, Rita Dove has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them 24 honorary doctorates (most recently, in 2013, from Emerson College and Emory University), the 1996 National Humanities Medal / Charles Frankel Prize from President Bill Clinton, the 3rd Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities in 1997, and more recently, the 2006 Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service in Literature, the 2007 Chubb Fellowship at Yale University, the 2008 Library of Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2009 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, the 2009 Premio Capri and the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama.
She has been a featured poet at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival on many occasions, most recently in 2010. The annual “Rita Dove Poetry Award” was established by Salem College Center for Women Writers in 2004. The documentary film Rita Dove: An American Poet by Argentinean-American filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley premiered at the Paramount Theater (Charlottesville, Virginia) on January 31, 2014.
Rita Dove is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.