Rita Dove

Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove has published numerous books, most recently Sonata Mulattica and Collected Poems 1974-2004; she also edited The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Among her many awards are the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal. She is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

May/June 2021

Island

By Rita Dove

A room in one’s head is for thinking outside of the box, though the box is still there—cosmic cage, Barnum’s biggest, proudest Ring. My land: a chair, four sticks with […]

May/June 2021

Soup

By Rita Dove

When the doctor said I’ve got good news and bad news, I thought of soup—how long it had been since I had had the homemade kind, the real deal where […]

Sep/Oct 2018

Canary

By Rita Dove

Receiving the KR award involves a greater engagement with our literary community and our students than simply being honored at the Rainbow Room in New York on November 7. Professor […]

Spring 2009

The Wardrobe Lesson

By Rita Dove

Friedrich Bridgetower to his son, 1789 Everyone in this brine-soused village believes an African loves color—so let it be red for our promenade along the Steyne, with a splash of […]

Spring 2009

Janissary Rap

By Rita Dove

Africans on parade: London, 1790 See the fine thing with her wig all skyward, primping along the Pall Mall? I’m gonna shake my Jinglin’ Johnny till she swoons from my […]

Spring 2009

Concert at Hanover Square

By Rita Dove

June 2, 1790. George Bridgetower andFranz Clement: child prodigies, of an age Do not think for a momentthat we were boys. Soulsin a like anguish, perhaps;or when in a fortunate […]

Summer 1982

Grape Sherbet

By Rita Dove

The day? Memorial. After the grill Dad appears with his masterpiece—swirled snow, gelled light. We cheer. The recipe’s a secret and he fights a smile, his cap turned up so […]