Lit City Lore: Rita Dove's Van Buren St Apartment

With LitCity Lore, we periodically feature a story from our new LitCity website, which maps unique Iowa City literary stories to the locations where writers lived, worked, gave readings, socialized and were inspired by the town.

This week we are highlighting Rita Dove’s Van Buren Street Apartment. Dove generously shared pictures with us of her time in Iowa City, taken by her husband Fred Viebahn. Dove met Viebahn while she was in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and he was a fellow at the International Writing Program.

We love these photographs. They reveal the energy and passion of a young writer’s life, overlapping with the history of Iowa City.

In one photo, taken in 1976, Dove stands in front of the apartment she was renting on Van Buren Street, while she was a student in the Workshop. The photo was taken by her future husband, Fred Viebahn.

In another photo, taken nearly 30 years later, Dove and Viebahn return to the same apartment and take a photo in front of it together.

Explore this story and more at the LitCity website.