Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove to speak at ASU lecture


Portrait of Pulitzer-Prize winning poet and essayist Rita Dove.

Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist.

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The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University will host the annual Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series with Rita Dove, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and essayist who is currently a Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

The lecture, “An evening with Rita Dove,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, on ASU’s Tempe campus in Roskind Great Hall.

The lecture will be the signature event of The College’s second annual Humanities Week — a collection of special events from Oct. 17–21 that highlight the ways in which students and faculty are exploring the human adventure across time, culture and place. 

Dove is the author of "Thomas and Beulah," a collection of 44 connected, narrative poems that won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her Collected Poems 1974–2004,” released in 2016, includes three decades of her work and multiple books of poetry, showcasing the diversity in her work. Her most recent book of poetry, "Playlist for the Apocalypse," was published by W. W. Norton in 2021.

In addition to poetry, Dove has published a book of short stories, the novel "Through the Ivory Gate" and numerous essays. She also edited "The Best American Poetry 2000," "The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry" and The New York Times Magazine’s weekly poetry column from 2018 to 2019.

From 1993 to 1995, Dove served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the youngest person and the first African American to have been appointed to this position since it was created by an act of Congress in 1986.

Dove’s numerous honors include Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Library of Virginia and the Fulbright Association, the 2014 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the 2019 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets and the 2021 Gold Medal for Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as the 16th (and third female and first African American) poet in the Medal’s 110-year history.

She also received the National Humanities Medal from President Clinton in 1997 and, in 2011, the National Medal of Arts from President Obama — making her the only poet ever to receive both medals.

Dove has attended Miami University of Ohio, Universität Tübingen in Germany and the University of Iowa, where she earned her creative writing MFA. From 1981 to 1989, Dove taught creative writing in the Department of English at ASU.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in several lots and parking garages near the venue. Learn more and RSVP at thecollege.asu.edu/marshall-lecture.

About the Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings nationally-known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy to ASU. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall.

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