LHF 2019 Celebrates Rita Dove

The Langston Hughes Festival and The City College of New York Honor Award-Winning Writer Rita Dove

Please join us as we celebrate the legacy of Langston Hughes and Rita Dove's original and essential work.

Rita Dove, recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Thomas and Beulah, was U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995. Author of numerous books, most recently Sonata Mulattica (2010 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award winner) and Collected Poems 1974-2004 (a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and winner of the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work), she also edited The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her drama The Darker Face of the Earth premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1996 and was produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Royal National Theatre in London, among other venues. In 1998 the Boston Symphony debuted her song cycle "Seven for Luck", with music by John Williams, under the composer's baton. Her many honors include the 1993 NAACP Great American Artist Award, the 2001 Duke Ellington Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama and the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton -- the only poet honored with both arts and humanities medals. To date, Rita Dove has received 28 honorary doctorates, most recently from Smith College, Harvard University and the University of Michigan. She is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia; currently she also serves as The New York Times Magazine's poetry editor.



  • 12:30 pm - A Symposium on the work of Rita Dove
  • 3:30 pm -  Movie Screening 
  • 6:30 pm - Award Ceremony
    Please join us as we present Rita Dove with the Langston Hughes Medal in the culminating event of the Langston Hughes Festival.