Monday, October 25, 2010

Rita Dove: A Living Legend

Born in Akron, Ohio, Rita Dove was destine for success. It was embedded in her genes, seeing as though her father was the first African American chemist to work in the the United States and her mother achieving high honors in high school for literature. In 1970, Dove graduated from Buchtel High School as a Presidential Scholar, making her one of the 100 top American high school graduates that year. the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1977. Rita Dove was appointed poet Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1993, the first African American to be appointed, and received a second special appointment in 1999.Dove is the second African American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Dove is not specific to any specific genre or era of literature. Her wide-range of topics and precise poetic language makes her not easy to categorize. Her most famous work to date is Thomas and Beulah, loosely based on the lives of her maternal grandparents, for which she received the Pulitzer Award for in 1987. But besides the Pulitzer Award, Dove received numerous other awards including 22 honorary doctorates, the 1996 National Humanities Medal, the 3rd Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities in 1997, and most recently, the 2006 Commonwealth Award of Distinguished Service in Literature, and many many more. From 1994-2000 she was a senator of the national academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. Rita Dove has accomplished a lot in her lifetime. Although many don't know her, her legacy has already been created, even as she is living today. She is the true meaning of a Living Legend.

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