"I didn't know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers."
Today, all Americans who love poetry may feel they know Rita Dove. In addition to her writing, and her television, theater and music projects, she holds the chair of Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.
Her collection of poems, Thomas and Beulah, based on the lives of her grandparents, earned her the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She is only the second African-American to win this prize.
In 1993, she was appointed to a two-year term as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She was the youngest person, and the first African-American, to receive this highest official honor in American letters.