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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 Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (Norton, 2016), Sonata Mulattica (Norton, 2009), and American Smooth (Norton, 2004), and she 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