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September 20, 1993

Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Rita Dove Opens Fall 1993 Literary Season

Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Rita Dove will open the 1993- 94 literary season at the Library of Congress with a reading from her work on Thursday, October 7, at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Tickets are not required for this free program.

The second woman in the post since the title "Poet Laureate" was added in 1985 to the title "Consultant in Poetry," Ms. Dove succeeds 1992-93 Poet Laureate Mona Van Duyn and six other women who served in the earlier role of poetry consultant: Leonie Adams, Louise Bogan, Elizabeth Bishop, Josephine Jacobsen, Maxine Kumin, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

Born in Akron, Ohio, in 1952, Ms. Dove was a 1970 Presidential Scholar as one of the 100 best high school graduates in the United States that year. She graduated summa cum laude from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), attended Universitat Tubingen (Germany) as a Fulbright fellow, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa. Her collections of poetry are The Yellow House on the Corner (1980); Museum (1983); Thomas and Beulah (1986), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize; and Grace Notes (1989). She is also the author of a collection of short stories, Fifth Sunday, (1985) and a novel, Through the Ivory Gate (1992).

Ms. Dove's poetry has earned her fellowship support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. She received a Portia Pittman Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities as writer-in-residence at Tuskegee Institute, the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of American Poets (chosen by Robert Penn Warren during his tenure as the first Poet Laureate at the Library), the General Electric Foundation Award, the Ohio Governor's Award in the arts, honorary doctorates from Miami University and Knox College, and a Literary Lion citation from the New York Public Library.

Ms. Dove is past president of the Associated Writing Programs, was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts advisory board for literature in 1984-86, and served as a judge for the Walt Whitman Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Ruth Lilly Prize. She is associate editor of the literary journal Callaloo and teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where she is Commonwealth Professor of English. She last appeared at the Library during its 1986 literary series, when she read from her work with the poet Edward Hirsch.

The public may enter the Jefferson Building, beginning at 5:30 p.m., using the west front entrance, 10 First Street, S.E. The Jefferson Building is undergoing restoration but will be open for this special event.

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PR 93-111
ISSN 0731-3527

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