Few of my regular readers will care about this, but I was excited to learn this morning that Claudia Emerson won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Claudia Emerson was my first creative writing teacher. I took her Creative Writing I class at Washington and Lee University in the fall of 1995, during my junior year.
That was actually my worst semester in college. I was depressed — despondent, in fact — and almost left school. I took four incompletes, but managed to finish her class on time. It was the only grade on my report card that term. She gave me a B-, which was a gift, really, because my work was so late. I remember her being very passionate about language. She gave me a couple bits of really good advice — all you can ask from a writing teacher, really. But they've been important to me over the years.
I bought a copy of her first book, Pharaoh, Pharaoh, which is still one of my favorite books of poetry. Haven't read Late Wife, the one that won the Pulitzer. I'm really happy for her. What a pleasant blast from the past.