Rita Dove was U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993-1995 and Special Consultant in Poetry for the Library of Congress bicentennial in 1999/2000; she served as the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004-2006. She received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book Thomas and Beulah. Her other books of poetry include Collected Poems 1974-2004, Sonata Mulattica, American Smooth, On the Bus with Rosa Parks, Mother Love, Grace Notes, Museum, The Yellow House on the Corner and Selected Poems; she has also published a collection of stories, Fifth Sunday, a novel, Through the Ivory Gate, a collection of her Poet Laureate lectures, The Poet's World, and a verse drama, The Darker Face of the Earth, which had its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1996 and was produced at the Kennedy Center and the Royal National Theatre, among others. Her song cycle Seven For Luck was set to music by John Williams and premiered at Tanglewood in 1998, and the following year she collaborated with John Williams and Steven Spielberg on "America's Millennium." She also edited the seminal anthologies Best American Poetry 2000 and The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011).
Lecture by Rita Dove on her play "Darker Face of the Earth"
Friday, March 23, 2018 - 4:00pm
Wexner Center for the Arts, Film/Video Theatre
Friday, March 23 – an afternoon lecture at the Wexner
Saturday, March 24 – an evening staged reading of her play The Darker Face of the Earth; Dove will be present for the show and a talk-back afterwards
Rita Dove reflects on her experiences as a playwright and shares the story of how her adaptation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos, titled The Darker Face of the Earth, reached the stage.
The dynamic life of her play includes early versions that underwent deep revision, a premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1996, and a variety of subsequent productions, including major performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Royal National Theatre in London.
Ahead of the staged reading of The Darker Face of the Earth on March 24, Dove explains the history of her theatrical masterpiece.
Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, where she has been teaching since 1989.
For Dove's complete biography and list of honors and awards, please visit her page on the University of Virginia website or her Poetry Foundation page
Co-sponsored by the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, the Department of African and African American Studies, the Wexner Center and the Departments of Theatre and Classics.