August 28 is the birthday of American poet Rita Dove, who reportedly told Black American Literature Forum,“There’s no reason to subscribe authors to particular genres. I’m a writer, and I write in the form that most suits what I want to say.”
Dove won the Pulitzer Prize for her third book of poetry, Thomas and Beulah, in 1987 and was US Poet Laureate 1993–95. She received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the National Medal of Arts from President Obama—the only poet ever to receive both. Her many honors include a 2017 NAACP Image Award (for Collected Poems: 1974–2004), the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, and the Academy of American Poets’ Wallace Stevens Award. Rita Dove is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her eleventh collection of poetry, Playlist for the Apocalypse, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton later this summer.
Learn more in Rita Dove, US Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide.
Check out this NCTE Verse post for a whole treasure chest full of lesson plan and teaching ideas related to the works of Rita Dove.
Curious about the NCTE and Library of Congress connection? Through a grant announced by NCTE Executive Director Emily Kirkpatrick, NCTE is engaged in ongoing work with the Library of Congress, and “will connect the ELA community with the Library of Congress to expand the use of primary sources in teaching.” Stay tuned for more throughout the year!
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