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.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

America's MOST visible Female

Family the single most important word in everyones life. This past weekend was a busy one for all and it was an important one as many parents came up to visit their children, along with taking the time out to conference with teachers. Below is a poem that I created myself as today gave me the time to finally sit back and think about the true meaning of the word above:


Family is something that cannot be replaced

In some instances it may have to be chased

Family is something that is hard to face

Especially when you need your space.

Family is something that is unique

And there may be times in which you may seek

Family is something that is not always complete

It is something that many of us wish was concrete.

Family is something that requires a whole bunch of love

It is something created by him from up above.

Maya Angelou a poet that I feel that I can relate to without a doubt. Her birth name is Marguerite Ann Johnson and she was born on April 4, 1928. She is known as "America's most visible black female autobiographer" and has written several autobiographies on her childhood and early adult experiences. Her first autobiography about the first 17years of her life named " I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings" She received international recognition and was nominated for the National Book Award . She has been awarded over 30 honorary and was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 volume of poetry "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water 'Fore I Diiie".

Angelou was a member of Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950's and was an active member of the Civil Rights Movement and served as a "Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference". She was a a teacher that taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Caroline where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship Studies. She has made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit. Without a question she was well known and she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration She was the firs poet to make an inaugural recitation Robert Frost at John. F Kennedy's inauguration 1961. Along with all these accomplishments she was recognized for having the longest-running record on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

Angelou had a long and extensive career which also included poetry, plays, screenplays for television and film, directing acting, and public speaking. As one can see she is one talented person and was able to do so much to contribute. She was also a successful as a playwright and actress. She appeared in a supporting role in a mini television series Roots. Overall she was very successful person with being able to take part in so many things.

I felt that it was important to chose Maya Angelou because one of the most important themes in her autobiographies are "kinship concerns" from the character-defining experience of her parents' abandonment to her relationships with her son, husbands, and lovers throughout all of her books. She reminds me of my mother because she struggled as a single parent but however was very successful.

Being able to learn more about Maya Angelou has helped me a lot. I am able to see her type of writing and how the theme of "family" played an important role in all of her works. I enjoyed reading some of her poems and it has in turn inspired me to write one of my own. She is a great poet and at 82 has done so much to contribute to society, and to help students like me explore the deeper meaning of family. Like family was something important to Maya Angelou it is something that without a doubt important to me and to me my mom is like America's most visible female. She does everything and anything for me and no matter what happens I know she will always love me.