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“Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful. Its like a bouillon cube: you carry it around and then it nourishes u when u need it” (Mc Dougal little lit. 805) Rita dove an African American poet best known for her literature but honored for her poetry. Rita Dove born August 28, 1952 in Akron Ohio. As a child dove had passion 4 books her parents encouraged her to read anything that interest her. Her parents mad sure that she valued and understood the importance of her education. After receiving her diploma graduating from high school in 1968 dove went on to college and graduated in 1973 with a degree in English she then received a full bright scholarship to study in Germany for 2 years at the University of Tubingen. After completing her 2-year study Dove then joined the Famous Writers Workshop at the university of Iowa Dove then received her masters degree. Dove then met a young man From Germany by the name of Fred Viebahn whom was a writer they were married 2 years after in 1979. 1 year later Dove published her first poem The Yellow House On The Corner. From 1981-1989 Dove taught creative writing at Arizona State University. Years later 1983 their daughter Avia was born. Dove wrote many poems dealing with various topics such as adolescence, romance, and slave history. Although Dove is best honored for her poetry she has also written fiction and drama. As a child Dove wrote plays, and stories created comic books with her brother took cello lessons and listened to music every night with her family. Although her parents restricted her and her siblings form the TV. They allowed her to go to the library as often as she wished.
Written in 1994 Dove published a play called The Darker Face Of Earth in 1996. The play emphasizes “ In terms of the African American experience of slavery with both compassion, responsibility, to face and recognizes the horrors of the past “ (.literary history ) . It is also a version of the Oedipus myth set during slavery, as the white wife of an African American plantation owner has a black son who is sold into slavery he returns 20 years later for a fateful confrontation with his origins. Dove illustrates that “ In her poems and in her stories, to she tries to hard to create characters who are seen as individuals an not as blacks or as women or whatever but as a black women with her own particular problems or situation, and this is one of the fundamental principals a writer had to uphold along with a warning don’t be swallowed up.” (The poet’s world lit. Search p 4). Dove like many contemporary southern writers, her works often convey the importance of recognizing one’s connection to a particular place and the need to remember the past, even or especially when that past evokes painful memories. Her grandparents, on whose lives she loosely based the sequence of poems, the poet inherits both her grandmother’s transforming imagination and her grandfather’s story telling ability. Dove earned the 1987 Pulitzer for Thomas and Beulah, a tribute to her, her grandparents, and to the vitality of the southern African American folk tradition. “She also had a way or switching from the presant to the past alor in her poems, discussing every moment of the african american histort."
The text below, and the text above, need to be merged into the main article. The info below was just dropped into the article beneath the External Links section in early February. The text above has been sitting in the Talk page since mid-December. I think there's some good info to be added here (and some already has), but dropping things into the article doesn't look very professional. Catbar (Brian Rock) 01:13, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
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Rita Dove was born in the year 1952 in the city of Akron, Ohio. Her father was a research chemist at the Goodyear plant in Akron and her mother, a homemaker. As a child, the young Dove had a particular fondness and passion for books and said that her parents encouraged her to read anything that she pleased; her parents valued and understood the importance of an education. Dove went on to graduate summa cum laude from Miami University of Ohio, and then to study German at the Universität Tübingen, where she would become a Fulbright Scholar. She also received her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa. It was there where she met her husband to be, German novelist and playwright Fred Viebahn. Together, the two currently reside in Charlottesville, Virginia with their daughter Aviva. She is presently a Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia where she teaches creative writing.
Dove has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and has held various seats and positions. She was the seventh Poet Laureate/Consultant in Poetry of the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995. She was the youngest person ever appointed to that position as well as the first African American ever appointed. She has also been honored with fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1978 and 1989 and from the Guggenheim Foundation in 1983-84. Dove has been given honorary doctorates from several different universities and colleges. She has held residencies at Tuskegee Institute, the National Humanities Center and the Rockefeller Foundation's Villa Serbelloni in Italy. She was named Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine and given the NAACP Great American Artist Award, both in 1993. She won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book of poems, Thomas and Beulah. She has been given the Folger Shakespere Library's Renaissance Forum Award, the General Electric Foundation award, as well as many other honors. In 1995 she along with Jimmy Carter, welcomed a gathering of Nobel Laureates in Literature to the city of Atlanta, Georgia; hosted by the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. Dove was also responsible for writing the text for Alvin Singleton's symphony "Umoja - Each One of Us Counts," which was commissioned by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to be performed during the opening festivities of last summer's Olympic Games held in Atlanta.
Rita Dove's first work, The Yellow House on the Corner was published in 1980. It is a collection of poems dealing with various topics and experiences such as adolescence, romantic encounters, and glimpses into slave history. It was received well by most critics and caught the attention of her peers. Thomas and Beulah, another collection of poems is probably her most famous piece of literature. One critic wrote "[S]he speaks with a directness and a dramatic intensity that commands attention... [Rita Dove] fashions imaginative constructs that strike the reader as much by their 'rightness' as their originality." Using her poetry, she recounts the lives of her two grandparents, telling both sides of their story: Thomas first, and then Beulah, which in a sense gives her the last word. Dove explains their viewpoints regarding each other and life with a simple, yet elegant and realistic prose. Dove has penned many collections of poems, however Through the Ivory Gate was her initial attempt at writing a novel. Encouraged by her husband and publishers, she wrote this story about a young African American woman and her experiences as she returns to her hometown (which, coincidentally is Akron) to perform and teach children at a local school about puppets and creative arts. Like the story's young protagonist, Dove herself is also very involved with younger children. She has appeared on such shows such as "Sesame Street" and NBC's "The Today Show" attempting to draw people who have little prior interest to poetry. Her self declared intention is "to bring poetry into everyday discourse ... to make it much more of a household word."
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First African American?
I'm not an editor, but I read that Rita was the "first African American appointed" to be Poet Laureate of the LOC in the summary at the top of the page. What about Robert Hayden in 1976? I understand that the name of the position changed in 1985, but I think it's a little disingenuous to refer to her as the "first" on a technicality. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 21:22, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Confusion on Wikipedia regarding the appointment of Poet Laureate
With reference to the section above, "First African American?", there is, indeed, a large amount of confusion on Wikipedia as to whether the appointment of Poet Laureate in the United States was created in 1937 for Joseph Auslander or in 1986 when Robert Warren was appointed. All that happened in 1986 was that the title of the appointment was changed to include the words "Poet Laureate", whereas before it had just been "Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress". This is very unclear and, for example, leads to doubt as to whether Rita Dove was the first African-American woman to be appoointed (as is claimed) or whether it was Gwendolyn Brooks.Barmispain (talk) 06:04, 2 November 2010 (UTC)