May 20, 2024

Claudia Emerson Receives Posthumous Honor at Library of Virginia Literary Awards

Claudia Emerson, the late Mary Washington professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, received a posthumous poetry award from the Library of Virginia Literary Awards Oct. 19.

Claudia Emerson, the late Mary Washington professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, received a posthumous poetry award from the Library of Virginia Literary Awards Oct. 19.

The late Mary Washington professor Claudia Emerson was posthumously honored at the Library of Virginia Literary Awards on Oct. 19 in Richmond, tying with Michael Chitwood for this year’s Poetry Award prize. According to the judges, Emerson’s book Claude Before Time and Space “displays the final work of a master poet at the height of her craft.”

Emerson was the Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2008 to 2010. Among her many honors are the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, which she received in 2006 for her book Late Wife, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. In 2009, Emerson was honored as one of the Library’s Virginia Women in History. She served as poetry editor for the Greensboro Review and contributing editor for Shenandoah. In addition to her 15 years at Mary Washington, she taught at Washington and Lee University, Randolph-Macon College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She died on December 4, 2014, in Richmond.