My friend and colleague Claudia Emerson received some thrilling news this afternoon: her third book, Late Wife, has been awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. The Pulitzer site doesn’t permit easy linking to specific pages, so here’s the Arts and Letters list as published this afternoon:
Letters, Music and Drama Awards
FICTION March by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
DRAMA (No Award)
HISTORY Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky (Oxford University Press)
BIOGRAPHY OR AUTOBIOGRAPHY American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin (Alfred A. Knopf)
POETRY Late Wife by Claudia Emerson (Louisiana State University Press)
GENERAL NON-FICTION Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins (Henry Holt)
MUSIC Piano Concerto: ‘Chiavi in Mano’ by Yehudi Wyner (Associated Music Publishers, Inc.)
Premiered February 17, 2005 by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
I’ll blog about this wonderful, happy event more fully later on. For now, let me simply say that it has been one of the great privileges of my life to have been in conversation for nearly a decade with this extraordinary artist. That this award means a greater public will share this pleasure makes me feel that there is, after all, some justice in this world.
I am also delighted to say that there is a podcast available on UMW’s Profcast site of Claudia reading from her new book. [EDIT: the Profcast site is no longer active. I have left the audio link, however, as there may be other sites that link to it.] So far as I know, it’s the only recording of her reading from Late Wife, though I know that will change very soon now. If you’d like to hear Claudia read before her home audience, though, here’s where you’ll find it. The link means the file will also podcast from this blog, which is just fine by me! I’m in a mood to shout it from the rooftops.