It was a tremendous honor to meet Rita Dove. I didn’t have nearly enough money to buy her Collected Poems, 1974–2004, so I bought the cheapest volume on the table, the paperback Sonata Mulattica, a tale about a black violinist with a tempestuous friendship with Beethoven. Dove spoke at Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago in 2017, discussing racism, poetry, and her own shyness that she tries to overcome in order to be a role model for young black poets. “On the ground level, we’re all writers,” she said at one point, “but a poet has a way of looking at the world and making it shimmer somehow.” In my book, she wrote, “for Leah—every good wish—Rita Dove.” I hope to read this volume soon, but for now, I’m just happy to have it.
Signed Saturdays is a weekly series at While Reading and Walking. I’m an avid book collector, and have been lucky enough to meet many of my favorite authors over the years. Each Saturday, I’ll celebrate and tell the story of one of my signed books. Feel free to join in at .