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1980s Typewriter ©Author Adventures

Rita Dove, Arizona Poetry Leader

Rita Dove (1952- ) taught creative writing in the English department of Arizona State University in the 1980s before joining the University of Virginia faculty as the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English. Born in Akron, Ohio, and trained at the Iowa Writers Workshop, her career catapulted through several major universities. Ultimately, as a US Poet Laureate, she became the first African-American Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

Her recognitions include more than 25 honorary degrees (including a doctorate from Arizona State), an NAACP Image Award, National Book Award Finalist, National Medal of Arts (Barack Obama Administration), National Humanities Medal (Bill Clinton Administration), multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. In addition, a number of universities have published books about her body of work.

Read these facts and more about her here: https://piper.asu.edu/writers/rita-dove and here: http://people.virginia.edu/~rfd4b/.

Her Writing

Dr. Dove’s work includes:

  • The Yellow House on the Corner (1980)
  • Museum (1983)
  • Thomas and Beulah (1986)
  • Grace Notes (1989)
  • Selected Poems (1993)
  • Mother Love (1995)
  • On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999)
  • American Smooth (2004)
  • Sonata Mulattica (2009)
  • Fifth Sunday (1985)
  • Through the Ivory Gate (1992)
  • The Poet’s World (1995)
  • Seven for Luck (1998)
  • The Best American Poetry (2000)
  • The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry (2011)
  • Collected Poems 1974-2004
  • Editor of The New York Times Magazine’s weekly poetry feature

Piper Writers House at Arizona State University

Rita Dove’s Arizona home is not open to the public but her workplace for approximately a decade can be visited.

The historic Virginia Piper Writers House, built in 1907, is a hub for creative writing classes, readings, workshops, and events. To attend, check out its calendar here: https://piper.asu.edu/calendar.

Arizona State University in Tempe is a large public university with more than 40,000 undergraduate students. Tempe is east of Phoenix and south of Scottsdale.

Piper Writers House is the second stop on the Arizona Author Adventures Trail.