Photo by: Sanjay Suchak
If you are a poetry lover, you may recognize the name Rita Dove. The Akron, Ohio native and accomplished writer, poet, and professor has recently been appointed poetry editor at “The New York Times.”
Graduating summa cum laude from Miami University and then earning a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa, Dove has published 10 collections of poetry and numerous short stories, novels, and essays. She is also a playwright, creating “The Darker Face of the Earth” which was ultimately produced at The Kennedy Center in D.C. and at the Royal National Theatre in London. Her most recent collection of poems, Collected Poems, 1974-2004, was released in May 2016. This publication won the NAACP Image Award in Poetry and was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award.
Dove, who currently serves as a professor of English at the University of Virginia, is one of the most decorated poets in the literary world. She won a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1987 and then at the age of 40, she became the youngest writer and also the first Black poet to be selected to serve as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995.
Later from 2004 to 2006, she was also selected to serve as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition, Dove has received numerous honors over the years, including, a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, The Library of Virginia’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and was presented with the National Medal of Arts in 2011 by former U.S. President Barack Obama. To date, she is the only poet to have received both the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal. Her new role with “The New York Times,” which she will assume in addition to her professorship at UVA, will enable her to select poems to be featured in The New York Times Magazine each Sunday.
Congratulations on your new appointment, Ms. Dove! Your contributions to literary expression continue to demonstrate the value of our voices and our stories to inspire the world.