Rita Dove: The first moment that really stood out in terms of public excitement and recognition was when I got the Pulitzer. I was 34; I had no idea I was being considered. It was really a moment of moving from a very private sense of life to a public sense, and I didn’t even know the book was being considered. I was very pleased that it was that book, though, that in fact got the Pulitzer — Thomas and Beulah — which was a book about my grandparents; a collection of poems that dealt with their lives: first his side and then her side of the story. And it wasn’t a spectacular book. They didn’t endure a train wreck or anything like that. They were living their lives in this quietly heroic way like many people in this country. And that that book was chosen for the Pulitzer was wonderful for me, I think, personally. Also for my parents it was wonderful.