Rita Dove Rita Frances Dove was born in Akron, Ohio on 28 August 1952. She attained her education at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, B.A. (summa cum laude) 1973; University of Tubingen, West Germany, 1974-75; University of Iowa, Iowa City, M.F.A. 1977. Dove married Fred Viebahn in 1979 and has one daughter. In The Poet's World (1995), a collection of essays written during her l993-95 term as the United States' seventh Poet Laureate, Rita Dove makes a surprising declaration, "My pleasures are taken in the intimate details of life, the miracles of the ordinary." Dove's artistic range seems boundless, fed by her knowledge of world history and literature. But a generous spirit guides her intellectual curiosity: she does not want to learn facts or to observe art and artifacts; she wants to engage with the world and its people. Whether writing about herself, her grandparents, an ancient Chinese princess, a German woman widowed during World War II, mythological characters, the blues singer Bessie Smith, or even a fossilized fish, Dove brings readers closer to ourselves, our world, and each other. She has read widely and travelled extensively, but she also grounds her work in her own intimate, ordinary experiences as a daughter, granddaughter, wife, mother, African American, woman and teacher. As she observed in a l991 interview published in Callaloo, "significant events in the private sphere are rarely written up in history books, although they make up the life-sustaining fabric of humanity." This same fabric gives life, warmth, texture, and color to Dove's poetry, fiction, essays, and drama.