The Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement

Honoring Poet Rita Dove

Rita Dove, recipient of the 2016 Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, interacts with students on campus.
Rita Dove with husband Fred Viebahn, Patrick ’74 and Vicki Stone, College of Liberal Arts Dean Larry Rodgers
OSU poetry professor Karen Holmberg interviews Rita Dove.
Linda and Allen Rolland '62
Rita Dove signed books following each public appearance.
More than 600 people attended the reading with Rita Dove in Corvallis.
Susie and Jeff King ’78
Rita Dove with creative writing students

The Oregon State community honored Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove on April 14 in Corvallis and April 15 in Portland with the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement. The biennial Stone Award honors a major American author who has created a body of critically acclaimed literary work and has been a dedicated mentor to future generations of writers. The Stone Award is one of the most substantial awards for lifetime literary achievement offered by any university in the country and was established in 2011 by Patrick '74 and Vicki Stone. Dove joins past recipients Tobias Wolff and Joyce Carol Oates.

As part of her visit to Corvallis, Dove spent time on campus with students and faculty members before joining an intimate OSU President's Circle reception. Following the reception, Dove read some of her poetry to nearly 620 people in the ballroom at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center before signing advance copies of her upcoming book Collected Poems: 1974-2004. She then spent Friday in Portland, where she held a poetry reading and onstage interview with OSU poetry professor Karen Holmberg at the First Congregational Church.

For more photos from Rita Dove's visit to Oregon or to download and share them, please visit the OSU Foundation's Picasa site.

Prior to reading a selection of her poems in Corvallis, Dove thanked the audience, commenting how much this community feels like home.

Dove is the author of numerous poetry collections, a book of short stories, a novel, essays, and a play which had its world premier in 1996 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; she also edited an anthology of 20th century American poets. She served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995 and as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She has received numerous literary and academic honors, including the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. She is currently a commonwealth professor at the University of Virginia.

As President Ed Ray says, "The arts provide the context and inspiration for discovery - they drive the culture of creativity, innovation, and diversity that is essential to a thriving research environment."

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