Awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2012, Rita Dove was praised by President Obama for “creating works that are equal parts beauty, lyricism, critique, and politics . . . and advocating on behalf of the diversity and vitality of American poetry and literature.”
This National Poetry Month, Dove continues a long-standing Poetry Center tradition by curating and introducing readings by three of her favorite poets: Alex Dimitrov, TJ Jarrett and Safiya Sinclair.
Alex Dimitrov is the author of Begging for It and American Boys. In 2014 he launched Night Call, a multimedia poetry project through which he read poems to strangers in bed and online. Dimitrov is also the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. His poems have been published in Poetry, The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Boston Review and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize. He is the Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets, has taught at Bennington College, and teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Click here to read his poem “Together and By Ourselves.”
TJ Jarrett is a writer and software developer in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the author of Ain’t No Grave, a finalist for the 2013 Balcones Prize and the 2014 Debulitzer Prize, and Zion, the winner of the Crab Orchard Open Competition. Her recent work has been published or is forthcoming in Poetry, African American Review, Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, DIAGRAM, VQR, West Branch and others. Click here to read her poem “Of Late, I Have Been Thinking About Despair.”
Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and received her MFA in poetry at the University of Virginia. She is the author of Catacombs, a hybrid-collection of poems and lyric essays, published by Argos Books. She is a recipient of the Amy Clampitt Residency Award, a 2014 Emerging Writer Fellowship from Aspen Summer Words and an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is currently pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California, where she is a Dornsife Doctoral Fellow. Click here to read her poem “Notes on the State of Virginia, I.”