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Acclaimed Poet Rita Dove to Speak

March 05, 2010 2:30 AM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, the country's first African-American poet laureate, will give a reading of her work at McAlister Auditorium today (March 8) at 7 p.m. on the Tulane uptown campus.


Rita Dove will sign copies of her nine critically acclaimed collections of poetry after her talk tonight (March 8) on the uptown campus.

The event is free and open to the public. After the reading, Dove will sign copies of her books.

The author of nine critically acclaimed collections of poetry, Dove also has published fiction, drama and an essay collection, The Poet's World. In addition, she collaborated with composer John Williams, providing lyrics for the song cycle Seven for Luck and teamed with him for a dramatic reading at "America's Millennium," the White House's New Year celebration in 2000.

Dove won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for her poetry collection Thomas and Beulah, which places the lives of her grandparents in a richly vivid historical context. When Dove was elected poet laureate of the United States in 1993, she was both the first African American and the youngest person to hold the position. The librarian of Congress called her "a younger poet of distinction and versatility … [and] an outstanding representative of a new and richly variegated generation of American poets."

The New Yorker described her 2009 collection Sonata Mulattica — which explores the life of biracial violin prodigy George Bridgetower, who inspired Beethoven's famous "Kreutzer Sonata" — as "a virtuosic treatment of a virtuoso's life."

Rita Dove's visit is the third, following appearances by Louise Glück and Billy Collins, in Tulane's Poet Laureate Series, which is sponsored by the Creative Writing Fund of the Department of English.