March 4, 2011

Rita Dove residency highlights Women's History Month series

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rita Dove. Photo by Fred Viebahn.

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rita Dove will be at Emory on March 20-22 for a Women's History Month series, "Entering the World Through Language."

The three-day series features a classical music performance, "creativity conversations" and a reading by Dove. 

Dove is the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987 and was Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 through 1995.

A canonical figure in American and African American literature, Dove is known for her interdisciplinary approach and her collaborative ventures with composers, musicians and other artists.

All events are free and open to the public and include:

"Sonata Mulattica": Reading by Rita Dove and Performance by William Fitzpatrick (violin) and William Ransom  (piano). Sunday, March 20, 7-8:45 p.m. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

Dove reads from her latest book of poetry, "Sonata Mulattica," which tells the story of a 19th century black violin virtuoso, Bridgetower, who inspired Beethoven but died in obscurity.

The reading is followed by a performance of Beethoven's "Sonata Mulattica" (better known as the "Kreutzer Sonata") by visiting violinist Fitzpatrick and Ransom, the Mary Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory. Booksigning to follow performance.

"Georgie Porgie" or A Moor in Vienna: A Staged Reading of Rita Dove's short play "For the Common Man." Monday, March 21, noon. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, Theater Lab (Room 203).

Atlanta actors join students and faculty to perform a short reading of "Georgie Porgie," a comic play that is at the center of Dove's "Sonata Mulattica," followed by a conversation between Dove and Emory students.

This Is a Story About Music: A Creativity Conversation with Rita Dove, Alvin Singleton and Robert Spano. Monday, March 21, 6 p.m., Oxford Road Building, Presentation Room.

Dove talks with Singleton, the prize-winning composer who has adapted Dove's work to music, and Atlanta Symphony's music director Spano, Emory Distinguished Artist in Residence. Moderated by Lois Reitzes, host of "Second Cup Concert" on WABE 90.1. 

Report from Part Three: A Creativity Conversation with Rita Dove and Natasha Trethewey. Tuesday, March 22, 6 p.m., Miller-Ward Alumni House, Governor's Hall. 

Dove and fellow Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Trethewey, Emory's Phillis Wheatley Distinguished Chair in Poetry, will discuss writing, mentorship and literary ancestries. Moderated by Rudolph P. Byrd, director of Emory's James Weldon Johnson Institute, a co-sponsor of the "Entering the World Through Language" series with the Center for Women at Emory and others.

"Only three African American women have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry," notes Byrd, Dove and Trethewey are among them.

"This historic dialogue" is among the many opportunities for the Emory community to engage with Dove's "rich and historic residency in observance of Women's History Month," says Byrd.

Adds Center for Women Director Dona Yarbrough, "Rita Dove's residency brings together an amazingly accomplished group of artists in literature and music, and the series unites and highlights some of Emory's greatest strengths, such as our top-ranked women's studies department, our world-class library collections in poetry and African American literature, and our ongoing celebration of creativity and the arts."

More Women's History Month events

"In addition to Dove," notes Yarbrough, "we have about 25 other events in our Women's History Month calendar related to everything from spirituality and health care, to career development and fashion. There is really something for everyone."

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