In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is Rita Dove’s Playlist for the Apocalypse, a stunning collection of poems that move through time and space, through the universal and specific. Sometimes playful, as she writes about a weak left knee, other times heavy and somber, as she ruminates on the violence of Jewish ghettos, police brutality, and our own current unstable world and her place in it. These poems remind us that we are all witness to a changing world – what role do we play? Playlist for the Apocalypse was a Finalist for the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry, and was Dove’s first book of new poems in twelve years.
Rita Dove is a poet, essayist, Pulitzer-prize winner, and skilled ballroom dancer. Dove does it all – she is a playwright, a writer of short and long fiction, as well as verse novels. Last year, Dove received the Gold Medal in poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters – the Academy’s highest honor. Dove currently holds the chair of Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!