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February 1, 2008 AWP Conference, New York City From the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

On January 13, 1957, Claudia Emerson was born in Chatham, Virginia. Emerson received her BA in English at the University of Virginia and her MFA in creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Her books of poetry include Secure the Shadow (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), Figure Studies: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2008), Pinion: An Elegy (Louisiana State University Press, 2002), and Pharaoh, Pharaoh (Louisiana State University Press, 1997).

About her work, poet and critic David Rigsbee writes: "Something claimed ‘in the ear’—a phrase with a Rilkean echo—returns us to the fine way Emerson's poems deliver fidelity and exactitude of detail, the image, often nested or interwoven, of things passing from one state to another. It is a hallmark of her work, and it has the feel of work, as if she were offering up something real to the unreal and uncanny situations that are the occasions of the strongest poems here."

Among her many honors are the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, which she received in 2006 for her book Late Wife (Louisiana State University Press, 2005). She also received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She was the poet laureate of Virginia from 2008 to 2010.

She served as poetry editor for the Greensboro Review and contributing editor for Shenandoah and held teaching positions at Washington and Lee University, Randolph-Macon College, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She died on December 4, 2014, in Richmond, Virginia.


Bibliography

Secure the Shadow (Louisiana State University Press, 2012)
Figure Studies: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 2008)
Late Wife (Louisiana State University Press, 2005)
Pinion: An Elegy (Louisiana State University Press, 2002)
Pharaoh, Pharaoh (Louisiana State University Press, 1997)

Influenza

Claudia Emerson, 1957 - 2014

 

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Claudia Emerson

Claudia Emerson

In 1957, Claudia Emerson was born in Chatham, Virginia. Among her many honors are the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, which she received in 2006 for her book Late Wife (Louisiana State University Press, 2005).

by this poet

poem

 

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poem
It was first dark when the plow turned it up. 
Unsown, it came fleshless, mud-ruddled, nothing 
but itself, the tendon's bored eye threading
a ponderous needle. And yet the pocked fist 
of one end dared what was undone 
in the strewing, defied the mouth of the hound 
that dropped it.
            The whippoorwill
poem

 

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