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Rita Dove

Rita Dove is a former US Poet Laureate (1993–1995) and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book Thomas and Beulah (Carnegie Mellon, 1986). Her most recent poetry collections are Playlist for the Apocalypse (Norton, 2021), Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (Norton, 2016), Sonata Mulattica (Norton, 2009), and American Smooth (Norton, 2004). Dove is sole editor of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011). Her honors include the 2011 National Medal of Arts. She is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.


What Doesn’t Happen

Spring 2009 | Poetry

The notion that the carriage wheels clattering through Paris
remind him of the drums from the islands in his father’s tales:
clickclack sputterwhir—he could make a song of it, dance

The House Slave

Spring 1980 | Poetry

The first horn lifts its arm over the dew-lit grass
and in the slave quarters there is a rustling—
children are bundled into aprons, cornbread