SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The 2006-07 Wittenberg Series concludes with a presentation by distinguished poet Rita Dove at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in Bayley Auditorium, Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center. The event is free and open to the public.
Recognized as one of the country's most beloved poets, Dove has written numerous books of poetry, a book of short stories, a novel and a verse drama. Some of her most popular books of poetry include American Smooth (2004); On the Bus with Rosa Parks(1999), named as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and finalist for the National Books Critics Circle award; and Thomas Beulah (1986), for which Dove won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize, making her the second African American poet to receive this prestigious award.
Combining expressive and powerful language with rhythmic pacing, Dove reflects on her experience with ballroom dancing in American Smooth, her most recent publication.
"For Dove, dance is an implicit parallel to poetry," read a review of the collection in The New York Times. "Each is an expression of grace performed within limits; each an art weighed by history but malleable enough to form something utterly new."
Dove's work has reached across a range of diverse readers. She was the youngest person and first African American to be appointed Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress, a position she held from 1993-1995. She also served as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004-2006.
Dove has received numerous literary and academic honors, including the 1987 Pulitzer Prize, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2003 Emily Couric Leadership Award and, most recently, the coveted Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service in 2006 together with four other people for their exceptional lifetime achievements.
Born and raised in Ohio, Dove is now the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she lives with her husband, writer Fred Viebahn.
Every year, the Wittenberg Series brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the campus and local community. For more information about the Wittenberg Series, visit the university's Web site. To make special arrangements, reserve a series poster or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Kristy Emch at (937) 327-7448, or via e-mail.
Written By: Cristina Recalde '08