Rita Dove: Online-Only

Fred Viebahn

Poetry Icon


Rita Dove: Online-Only

Past Event: Friday, December 3, 2021

At lectures.org

Online event icon


Although this event has passed, you can still purchase tickets now through Friday, December 10, at 7:30 p.m. (PT). The event will be viewable until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 10.

Rita Dove is a celebrated poet, prose writer, editor, musician, and former Poet Laureate of the United States—the youngest to have served in the role. Known for works of lyricism and beauty, Dove applies an unflinching eye to historical and political events. In fact, her tremendous impact on American letters has come not only through her writing but her advocacy work; the Pulitzer Prize-winning author is the only poet honored with both the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts.

Her first volume of new poems in twelve years, Playlist for the Apocalypse, is Dove’s poignant meditation on injustice: an investigation of the vacillating moral compass guiding America’s—and the world’s—experiments in democracy.

Q&A with Anastacia-Reneé.

Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995 and Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She is the author of the novel Through the Ivory Gate, as well as a collection of stories, a verse drama, a book of essays, and five books of poetry, among them Thomas and Beulah, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1987. The recipient of numerous literary fellowships and awards, Dove is also the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia and a trained classical cellist and gambist.

Her newest volume of poems, Playlist for the Apocalypse, has been described by the Boston Globe as, “A piercing, unflinching new volume [that] offers necessary music for our tumultuous present, from perhaps the best public poet we have.”

In Playlist for the Apocalypse, Dove investigates the vacillating moral compass guiding America’s, and the world’s, experiments in democracy. Whether depicting the first Jewish ghetto in sixteenth century Venice or Black Lives Matter, this extraordinary poet never fails to connect history’s grand exploits to the triumphs and tragedies of individual lives―the simmering resentment of an elevator operator, an octogenarian’s exuberant mambo, the mordant humor of a philosophizing cricket.

Audaciously playful yet grave, alternating poignant meditations on mortality and acerbic observations of injustice, Playlist for the Apocalypse takes us from the smallest moments of redemption to apocalyptic failures of the human soul.

Anastacia-Renee, our moderator for the evening, is an award-winning cross-genre writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDX speaker, and podcaster. Anastacia-Renee is the author of (v.) (Black Ocean Press), Forget It (Black Radish Press), and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbook Press). She has received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Mineral School, Hypatia in the Woods and The New Orleans Writers’ Residency. Anastacia-Renee’s work has been anthologized in Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, Spirited Stone, Lessons from Kubota’s Garden, Seismic: Seattle City of Literature, and her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have been in Foglifter, Cascadia Magazine, Pinwheel, The Fight and the Fiddle, Glow, The A-Line, Ms. Magazine, Spark, Obsidian Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Crab Creek Review, Alta, Catapult and many more.

Event Details


Know Before You Go

Can't find your tickets? Need access to the digital event?

All tickets have been emailed for Dove’s event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from [email protected]. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email, contain your digital access instructions. The night of your event, return to lectures.org/event/rita-dove and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 6:00 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at [email protected] and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Rita Dove something? Send your question to SAL at [email protected]—it might be asked onstage!


Open Books will have copies of Dove’s work available for purchase on their website.


Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at online events. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select Sign Language Interpretation from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will reach out to you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services for online events, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at [email protected], or Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 206.621.2230×10. For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility.


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