One would think that becoming Poet Laureate of the United States would be the apex of a writer's career, but since Rita Dove left that post in 1995, she has hardly been winding down. This may have to do with her having been the youngest laureate ever (she was also the first African American to be appointed), but even now, with a Pulitzer, a Fulbright and pretty much every other award to her credit, she seems to still be in her prime. Today, she will appear at The Menil Collection to read as part of the opening of the Houston Museum of African American Culture. She'll present passages from her newest, book-length narrative poem, Sonata Mulattica, which tells the tale of another African-American artistic prodigy, George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, a mixed-race violinist who was the first performer of Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata -- but whom history largely forgot. That, of course, is something Dove needn't worry about. 7 p.m. 1515 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit www.menil.org. Free.
Wed., March 10, 7 p.m., 2010