Rita Dove (b. 1952)

American poet and author. Born in Akron, Ohio, Dove graduated summa cum laude from Miami University. After studying in Germany as a Fulbright scholar, she earned her M.F.A. at the University of Iowa. She has published numerous volumes of poetry, most recently Sonata Mulattica (2009); Thomas and Beulah (1986), a collection of poems loosely based on the lives of her grandparents, won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. She has also published a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday (1985); a novel, Through the Ivory Gate (2004); a book of essays, The Poet’s World (1995); and a verse play, The Darker Face of the Earth (1994). From 1993 to 1995 Dove served as the first African American Poet Laureate of the United States. She is currently Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. See also people.virginia.edu/~rfd4b.