July 28, 2009 — Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Rita Dove, Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, has received the 2009 Capri Prize for her widely praised new book, "Sonata Mulattica."
She received the award on July 18 in a ceremony on the Italian island of the same name.
Il Premio Capri is a prestigious Italian cultural institution. Among previous honorees are Nobel laureates Joseph Brodsky, Czeslaw Milosz and Derek Walcott.
Dove is the 16th and first female recipient of this international honor. In May she received the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal. Harvard professor, and TheRoot.com editor-in-chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. presented the award during a gala dinner at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
A former U.S. poet laureate, Dove is celebrating her 20th anniversary at U.Va. this summer.