In conversation with…Rita Dove

The latest issue (50/51) of Artful Dodge featured an intimate conversation between proclaimed poet, Rita Dove, and our editor-in-chief, Daniel Bourne. Here’s what Dove had to say about her Pulitzer Prize (1987) winning collection, Thomas and Beulah:



“The impetus to write about my family came first. But, in fact, I wasn’t even aware at the beginning I was going to write a book. I did not set out to write a book about my grandparents at all. The very first poem that ever appeared in Thomas and Beulah had already appeared in my second book of poems, Dusting. That poem was written first, but as an individual poem. And then I began writing poems about my grandfather, about trying to feel what it was like to be him as a young man. And, writing those poems, at that point I thought that, because I had just finished the second book, I thought, well, why not try to write these poems about my grandfather in the third person? So that was how the task began. But my grandfather came first. Then I realized about six poems in that this poem I was now writing about my grandmother was, well, it was my grandmother, and that she wanted her say, too. Then I said, oh! A bigger project, a bigger book.”

To read the rest of the interview, please visit our official website or order a copy of the Artful Dodge at

[image selected from the Internet by assistant editor, Ananya Shrestha]


About artfuldodgewooster

Ohio based literary magazine, now over twenty years old, still in print, and gradually spreading across the digital world. Official Website:
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