Closing Column

Remembering Claudia Emerson, Poet

The Free Lance-Star published this memorial to longtime Mary Washington professor and poet Claudia Emerson on Dec. 8, 2014. Emerson died Dec. 4. Claudia Emerson, who passed away last week at the far-too-young age of 57, plied that most demanding and (to those who measure greatness by royalty statements) most unrewarding of writing professions. She was a poet – a great one. Of all the forms of creative writing, poetry is the hardest and seems to draw the smallest audience. It is, and was to Ms. Emerson, a labor of love. Through her labors, she rewarded her readers with some of the finest poetry this country has produced in recent years. Among other praise, she won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2006, while teaching at the University of Mary Washington, for her collection Late Wife. She was the state’s poet laureate from 2008–2010. She made her university and her city proud. She left UMW after 15 years to take a position at Virginia Commonwealth University last year … [Read more...]