In Memoriam: Claudia Emerson

VCCA is saddened to learn that Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson, 57, died December 4 after a long battle with cancer.

An accomplished poet with five books of poetry to her name, Claudia received numerous accolades during her career including a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for Late Wife, an epistolary collection of reflections on her failed first marriage and her blossoming relationship with her second husband, musician Kent Ippolito. She was named Poet Laureate of Virginia by Governor Tim Kaine, a post she held from 2008-10.

Born in Chatham, Virginia, Claudia attended Chatham Hall graduating in 1975. A loyal alumna, she frequently returned to the school serving as writer-in-residence and conducting workshops. Claudia graduated form the University of Virginia in 1979 and completed her Master’s in creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 1991.

Emerson resided in Richmond with her husband. She was a professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her last VCCA residence was in 2010.

VCCA extends its heartfelt condolences to Claudia's family, friends and students.


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