A Sewing Chat with Rita Dove

Thank you to volunteer sound designer for her work on this episode including the following music: 
“Chill Lo-Fi Hip Hop” by Skilsel; “News Corporate” by Skilsel; “Hip Hop Lo-Fi” by John Sib; “Hip Hop Funk” by John Sib and “African Percussion” by Sofra

More about Rita Dove

Whether she is crafting a line of poetry or stitching together her husband’s lavender velvet wedding suit, Rita Dove is a master of storytelling. In this episode of Stitch Please, Lisa talks with former US Poet Laureate, Rita Dove, about her introduction to sewing, the relationship between poetry and sewing, and how to walk along the seam sewn by those who have come before us. After graduating from Buchtel High School as a Presidential Scholar, Dove went on to graduate summa cum laude with a B.A. from Miami University in 1973. In 1974, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship from the University of Tübingen, Germany and later completed her MFA at the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1977 where she met her husband, Fred Viebahn. In 1987, Dove received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 1992, Dove was named US Poet Laureate and served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress—a position she would later hold again as a Special Bicentennial Consultant in 1999. In addition to being the youngest individual and the first African American to hold the position of Poet Laureate, Rita Dove is the recipient of 28 honorary doctorates and numerous awards, some of which include: Poet Laureate of Virginia, the National Humanities Medal presented by President Bill Clinton, the National Medal of Arts presented by President Barack Obama, several lifetime achievement awards, and the Gold Medal in poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dove has published the poetry collections The Yellow House on the Corner (1980), Museum (1983), Thomas and Beulah (1986), Grace Notes (1989), Selected Poems (1993), Mother Love (1995), On the Bus with Rosa Parks (1999), American Smooth (2004), Sonata Mulattica (2009), Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (2016) which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her most recent work, Playlist for the Apocalypse (2021).  In addition to poetry, Dove has published a book of short stories, Fifth Sunday (1985), the novel Through the Ivory Gate (1992), and the play The Darker Face of the Earth (1994). Rita Dove is currently the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia. When she’s not writing timeless literary gems, Dove might be found thumbing through High Fashion Sewing Secrets and creating her own wearable works of art.

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