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Rita Dove  

Former Poet Laureate of the United States & Consultant to the Library of Congress

Rita Dove is an award-winning author of a novel, a short story collection, a book of essays, and nine volumes of poetry. A 1970 Presidential Scholar as one of the 100 best American high school graduates that year, she received her B.A. at Miami University in 1973 and, after a year as a Fulbright scholar at Universität Tübingen in Germany, her M.F.A. at the University of Iowa in 1977.

In 1987 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book "Thomas and Beulah", and from 1993-1995 she served as U.S. Poet Laureate. She was also, from 2004-2006, Poet Laureate of Virginia. She was the winner of the 2010 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the 2016 NAACP Image Award in Literature and the 2017 Library of Virginia Award for Poetry. In the spring of 2018, Dove was named poetry editor of The New York Times Magazine.

In addition to the written word, Dove released her song "cycle Seven for Luck", with music by John Williams, which premiered by the Boston Symphony, and her play "The Darker Face of the Earth" had successful runs at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Royal National Theatre in London, among other venues.

Rita Dove's numerous literary and academic honors include Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Library of Virginia and the Fulbright Association, the Harold Washington Literary Award, as well as 27 honorary doctorates, most recently from Harvard University. Recipient of the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, Rita Dove is the only poet to have been honored with both national medals. She has served as president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and held chancellorships at the honor society Phi Beta Kappa as well as at the Academy of American Poets. A member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she is Commonwealth Professor at the University of Virginia, where she has been teaching creative writing since 1989.

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