Collected Poems 1974 – 2004

Finalist, National Book Awards 2016 for Poetry

Collected Poems 1974 – 2004, by Rita Dove book cover
ISBN 9780393285949
W. W. Norton & Company
Rita Dove author photo, credit Fred Viebahn
Rita Dove

Rita Dove is the recipient of many honors, including the Pulitzer Prize for her book Thomas and Beulah, and the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal. She served as the Library of Congress Poet Laureate Consultant. More about this author >

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

Three decades of powerful lyric poetry from a virtuoso of the English language in one unabridged volume.

Rita Dove’s Collected Poems 1974–2004 showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Medal of Art. Gathering thirty years and seven books, this volume compiles Dove’s fresh reflections on adolescence inThe Yellow House on the Corner and her irreverent musings in Museum. She sets the moving love story of Thomas and Beulah against the backdrop of war, industrialization, and the civil right struggles. The multifaceted gems of Grace Notes, the exquisite reinvention of Greek myth in the sonnets of Mother Love, the troubling rapids of recent history in On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and the homage to America’s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage in American Smooth all celebrate Dove’s mastery of narrative context with lyrical finesse. With the “precise, singing lines” for which the Washington Post praised her, Dove “has created fresh configurations of the traditional and the experimental” (Poetrymagazine).

Judges Citation

Rita Dove’s Collected Poems 1974–2004 ranges over thirty years and multiple books of poetry. These poems are as punchy fresh as they were when they first emerged in print. Dove can get down and funky with the blues on Saturday night, and then dress it up for the church people on Sunday morning. Her poems are consistent knockouts in their display of diversity and skill. She makes it look simple as she ranges from the battlefields of WWI to the widening circle of the love story of Thomas and Beulah. The domestic sphere is the whole world.


Rita Dove reads from Collected Poems 1974 – 2004, 2016 NBAs Finalists Reading