American Smooth

Book cover of American Smooth

"Rita Dove pulls the ultimate dance trick: she makes it look easy."--New York Times Book Review

An occasion to celebrate: a new collection by the Pulitzer Prize-winning former poet laureate; her first since On the Bus with Rosa Parks. With the grace of an Astaire, Rita Dove's magnificent poems pay homage to our kaleidoscopic cultural heritage; from the glorious shimmer of an operatic soprano to Bessie Smith's mournful wail; from paradise lost to angel food cake; from hotshots at the local shooting range to the Negro jazz band in World War I whose music conquered Europe before the Allied advance. Like the ballroom-dancing couple of the title poem, smiling and making the difficult seem effortless, Dove explores the shifting surfaces between perception and intimation.


Media reactions to American Smooth:

(NOTE: Reprint and audiovisual use or electronic distribution beyond this website of any of the following material is strictly prohibited without permission by the quoted publication!)

POETS & WRITERS, Sept/Oct 2004.

EBONY Magazine, Sept 2004.

The Hook, Sept 16, 2004, a Charlottesville newspaper.

The Daily Progress, Sept 17, 2004, a Charlottesville newspaper.

SFGATE, Oct 17, 2004.

Arizona Daily Star, Oct 22, 2004.

The Miami Herald, Oct 31, 2004.

UVaOnline, Oct 29, 2004, an online newspaper for the University of Virginia.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, Nov 7, 2004.

The Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Nov 7, 2004.

The Kansas City Star, Nov 7, 2004.

The New York Times, Nov 21, 2004.

The Los Angeles Times Book Review, Nov 28, 2004.

Valparaiso Poetry Review.

The Virginia Quarterly Review, January 3, 2005.


Shenandoah, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2004. Written by R.T. Smith, the magazine's editor.