Pulitzer Prize poet Rita Dove wins CCNY’s Langston Hughes Medal

Rita Dove, recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995, is the winner of The City College of New York’s 2019 Langston Hughes Medal.  She will receive the medal on Nov. 14 in CCNY’s Aaron Davis Hall.

The medal is awarded to highly distinguished writers from throughout the African American diaspora at City College’s annual Langston Hughes Festival.  Hosted by the Black Studies Program, it recognizes honorees for their impressive works of poetry, fiction, drama, autobiography and critical essays that help to celebrate the memory and tradition of Langston Hughes. Past award winners include:

  • James Baldwin;
  • Gwendolyn Brooks;
  • Toni Morrison;
  • August Wilson;
  • Maya Angelou;
  • Octavia Butler; and
  • Hilton Als.

Dove is the author of numerous books, most recently “Sonata Mulattica,” the 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.

Thomas and Beulah,” Dove’s book of poems that tells the semi-fictionalized story of her maternal grandparents, earned her the 1987 Pulitzer Prize. 

Her other 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.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility indexThis measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.


Jay Mwamba
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