Rita Dove is an American poet and essayist. She is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, 1987, and served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995. She is the author of Thomas and Beulah, The Darker Face of the Earth, Sonata Mulattica and Playlist for the Apocalypse. She has served as president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and as chancellor of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. An elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, where she has been teaching since 1989.
Rita Dove’s numerous honors include the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Library of Virginia and the Fulbright Commission, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets as well as 28 honorary doctorates, among them from Yale and Harvard. In 1996 she received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and in 2011 the National Medal of Arts from President Obama — the only poet ever to receive both medals.