Rita Dove's Cosmopolitanism
About the BookPulitzer Prize-winner and former poet laureate of the United States Rita Dove has written prolifically since the early 1970s. In this, the first full-length critical study of her entire body of work by an American scholar, Malin Pereira traces the development of Dove's literary voice, looking at the ways she combines racial specificity with the perspective of the unraced universal.
Pereira examines Dove's poetry, fiction, drama, and literary criticism closely and chronologically, charting her path through the racially charged culture wars of the 1970s and 1980s. She demonstrates how Dove eventually transcended racial protocols that threaten to define her work and moves into a nomadic poetic articulation of her cosmopolitan identity.
As Pereira addresses Rita Dove's cosmopolitanism, she also examines the thematic concerns that reoccur in Dove's work-—themes such as incest, miscegenation, nomadism, the blues, and patriarchal oppression.
Reviews"The book's scope is not limited to Dove's poetry. . . . It also includes an unexpected but welcome appendix, a 1998 interview with Dove that covers such wide ranging subjects as her relationship to the Black Arts Movement, what it was like to be U.S. Poet Laureate, her debts to the American modernist poet H.D., how living in the South has affected her writing, and her thoughts about moving into the new millennium."--African American Review
"Rita Dove is a wonderful poet whose work, in its complexity, deserves our close attention. Malin Pereira's book addresses important cultural, philosophical, esthetic, and technical issues raised within this vital body of art. Diligent in her explorations, Pereira sees this poetry against the richest of backgrounds, as it deserves to be seen. Rita Dove's Cosmopolitanism is a shrewd and invaluable commentary on the verse of a poet who reveres the endless variety of the world and the word."--Arnold Rampersad, author of The Life of Langston Hughes