Rita Dove and Natasha Trethewey at Emory University

“When you’re judging a contest I’m looking for something to just knock me over, and that’s what happened when I read Natasha’s manuscript,” says Rita Dove about first encountering Natasha Trethewey’s poetry while judging a book contest. In this 2011 conversation at Emory University, the two former U.S. poets laureate discuss writing, mentorship, and literary ancestries.